Sustainability & Environment

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Institute for Sustainability (IfS)

IfS is an umbrella organization encompassing a broad spectrum of activities related to sustainability. It has three sub-entities: the Sustainable Engineering Forum (SEF), the Center for Sustainable Technology Practices (CSTP), and the Youth Council on Sustainability Science and Technology (YCOSST). It also provides oversight to the AIChE Sustainability Index (sm).

Environmental Division (ENV)

The ENV division provides relevant programs on current environmental topics and non-confidential information concerning all aspects of environmental activity. The division promotes publication of papers of interest to chemical engineers in environmental activities as well as coordinates the Institute’s activities with other related societies.

Meeting the Needs of the Water-Energy Nexus

April
2011
Critical Issues
David Klanecky, Snehal Desai
Water is required to produce energy, and energy is required to make use of water — the two are, and always will be, inextricably linked. Engineers must understand the water-energy nexus in order to manage both efficiently and sustainably.

Environmental Law for Chemical Engineers

February
2012
Back To Basics
Mary Ellen Ternes
A basic understanding of environmental law is beneficial for all chemical engineers. Learn how laws are proposed, made, and implemented, and ways to avoid incurring unnecessary penalties.

Genetically Modified Crops

September
2005
Critical Issues
John Shave
Viewpoint #1 Regulate the Product, Not the Process by Gregory Conko Viewpoint #2 Not All Sugar & Spice

Minimize Wastes from Specialty Chemical Processes

January
2008
Environmental Management
Jeffrey Mueller, Michael Cipullo
Use this holistic approach as the basis for a process development strategy to identify environmentally sound, cost-effective, low-waste-generating processes.

CEP: Editorial - On the Path to Sustainability

July
2012
Editorial
Cynthia F. Mascone
I love soaking up nature — whether I’m hiking over the red rocks of Sedona, strolling along Jones Beach as the waves of the Atlantic Ocean roll in, taking shelter indoors as an angry thunderstorm rages outside, stargazing miles from the nearest town … or just sitting on my porch watching the grass in my tiny New York City yard grow. Whatever the activity, I continue to be amazed at the awesomeness of the world we live in. Yet I wonder what the planet will be like for our children. Will nature still be as wonderful for them as it is for me?

CEP: Editorial - Alternative Paths to Sustainability

October
2012
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
When I wrote last month’s editorial about my trip down the path to sustainability, I intended it to be the third article of three (“On the Path to Sustainability” in July, “AIChE’s Path to Sustainability” in August, and “A ChE’s Path to Sustainability” in September). My journey began while I was on vacation in Arizona at the beginning of the summer. Unexpectedly, I experienced sustainability from a different angle during my annual end-of-summer staycation. Thus, this fourth article on sustainability — in sports.

CEP: Editorial- AIChE's Path to Sustainability

August
2012
Editorial
Cyntha F. Mascone
Last month in this space, I wrote about some of the sustainability activities underway in and around Grand Canyon National Park, and how my vacation there got me thinking about AIChE’s sustainability efforts. The most recent initiative is the...

The Rise of China - Progress at What Price?

June
2007
News Feature
Boonsri Dickinson
As China undergoes an industrial revolution, its once pristine lands are being choked by pollution from coal-fired plants. Spurred by the upcoming 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China is quickly cleaning the air. And, it has long-term plans to invest...

Environmental Calculations: A Multimedia Approach

August, 2009
Consolidates information and technical calculations for a wide variety of environmental factors Operating a business facility of any size, especially a manufacturing location, requires environmental permits from a number of governmental regulatory agencies responsible for protecting human health...

Government Perspectives on Sustainability

January
2009
Special Section
Alan Hecht
Advances in science and technology, the application of diverse government regulations and policies, and green business practices are all needed to advance sustainabilty. Biofuels production is a good case study to illustrate how government and...

The Road to Sustainability

June
2007
Special Section
Darlene Schuster
What are some of the resources available to support industry's implementation of sustainability?

CEP: Journal Highlight - ChemEs get Schooled in Sustainability

August
2012
Journal Highlight
David T. Allen- University of Texas at Austin, David R. Shonnard- Michigan Technological University
Sustainable design will be required if the world is to support a growing population with increasingly higher living standards.

The AIChE Sustainability Index: The Factors in Detail

January
2009
Special Section
Calvin Cobb, Darlene Schuster, Beth Beloff and Dicksen Tanzil , Darlene Schuster
The AIChE Sustainability Index provides practical benchmarks along a number of well-defined metrics.

Benchmarking Sustainability

June
2007
Special Section
Calvin Cobb, Darlene Schuster, Beth Beloff and Dicksen Tanzil , Darlene Schuster
Unlike other sustainability indices, the AIChE Sustainability Index (SI) accounts for key factors that are fundamental to the chemical process industries.

Audit Your New EHS Software System

October
2004
Environmental Management
Jill Barson Gilbert
A post-implementation audit of the environmental, health and safety management information system evaluates how well the software meets user needs and its value to the organization.

Clean Up Contaminated Sites

January
2002
Environmental Management
Faisal I. Khan
Risk-based monitored natural attenuation effectively monitors the extent of contamination, the associated risk, and the effectiveness of natural clean-up processes.

Radical Designs Boost Resource Efficiency

July
2010
News Feature
Joanna Ziemlewski
The top projects in the recent 10xE Design Challenge showcase the best examples of resource-efficient, integrative design from the chemical engineering community.

Minimize Enforcement Penalties

July
2001
Environmental Management
Jessica L. Idzerda
Identify possible New Source Review/Prevention of Significant Deterioration penalties by conducting an internal audit and disclosing potential violations.

Controlling NOx Emissions - Part 1

March
2002
Environmental Management
Mike Bradford
NOx emission standards are becoming very tight, especially in the Houston area and in Southern California. Among the technologies to meet these standards are process modifications and energy efficiency improvements, as well as advanced burner...

Estimate Storage Tank Emissions

August
2001
Environmental Management
Jimmy  Peress
Use this shortcut to quickly determine emissions from fixed-roof storage tanks.

Controlling NOx Emissions - Part 2

April
2002
Environmental Management
Mike Bradford
NOx reduction technologies include selective catalytic reduction, selective noncatalytic reduction, and catalytic oxidation/scrubbing.

Develop Effective Environmental Training

September
2001
Environmental Management
Peter J. Stoll
Computer-based environmental compliance training offers a number of advantages. This article discusses the benefits of computer-based training, outlines its most important components, and provides tips for structuring and writing a course.

Understand the Capabilities of Bio-Oxidation

December
2002
Environmental Management
James T. Boswell
Relatively uncomplicated design and simple operation and maintenance requirements make biofiltration a good option for many types of air emissions control.

Estimate Emissions from Vacuum Operations

May
2002
Environmental Management
Jimmy Peress
This article compares empirical methods and test methods for determining air-leakage rates and offers guidelines on their use.

Destroying Organic Wastes: Thermal Oxidizer Basics

May
2005
Environmental Management
Yehuda Goldshmid
This article describes the types of oxidizers, outlines the parameters that affect oxidizer choice, and provides guidance on specifying a thermal oxidizer system.

IGCC Power Generation - Down But Not Out

September
2008
News Feature
Suzanne Shelley
Many technology advances are underway to address cost, CO2 and reliability issues and expand the use of integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), a cleaner way to generate electricity from coal.

A ChE's Guide to Toxicology

June
2004
Environmental Management
Lisa M. Sweeney
Toxicology impacts a chemical engineer in a variety of ways. Here's what you need to know about the basics of this field.

Looking for Growth in the Chemicals Industry

January
2012
Chem Economics
T. Kevin Swift
Recovery has stalled in developed nations. Debt, unemployment, and the emerging recession in Europe will encumber U.S. growth prospects in the years ahead. One bright spot, however, is the shale gas story.

Preventing Pollution Around the World

November
2001
Environmental Management
J. J.  Rao
By implementing these strategies at all of its overseas facililities, an international corporation can reap such benefits as increased efficiency, reduced costs and a positive public image.

Correctly Calculate the Potential to Emit

December
2001
Environmental Management
Janet Scheier
Determining maximum capacity and ensuring that permit limits are federally enforceable are critical to calculating PTE.

Sustainable Development in the Process Industries: Cases and Impact

March, 2010
The complete, hands-on guide to sustainable development Today's process industries must develop natural resources within an eco-friendly framework that balances current demand with future need. Realizing this goal necessitates global vigilance of three key areas—people, planet, and prosperity—known...

Thermodynamics for the Practicing Engineer

June, 2009
Thermodynamics for the Practicing Engineer, as the title suggests, is written for all practicing engineers and anyone studying to become one. Its focus therefore is on applications of thermodynamics, addressing both technical and pragmatic problems in the field. Readers are provided a solid base in...

Industrial Water Management: A Systems Approach, 2nd Edition

May, 2002
This CD-ROM shows how to systematically incorporate the principles of water conservation, recycling, and reuse into the design of new plants, retrofits of existing systems, and technology development. Technology summaries and case studies that support this systematic approach to water reuse, as...

Pollution Prevention: Methodology, Technologies and Practices

November, 1998
As many industries are beginning to learn, pollution prevention technologies offer more than just a way to comply with regulations, or even to “do the right thing.” It also makes smart business sense. The authors of this book, both veterans of DuPont’s in-house waste reduction team, have put...

Reduce Business Risk with a CMS

October
2006
Environmental Management
Robert F. Boland
A compliance management system (CMS) helps companies meet regulatory reporting requirements, improve environmental performance, reduce environmental compliance costs, and increase organizational efficiency. Here's a run-down of what to look for when...

Evaluating Supply Chain Sustainability

May
2010
Environmental Management
Joseph Fiksel
Lifecycle analysis (LCA) techniques can be used to quantify the environmental performance of a product, process, or service. This article describes several LCA methods and their application to supply chains.

Apply Process Integration to Environmental Impact Assessment

February
2009
Environmental Management
Ahmed Abdel-Wahab, Eva M. Lovelady, Hassan E. Alfadala, Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi, Patrick Linke
This approach provides valuable insights early in the design process and systematizes the design effort, while reconciling process objectives with environmental constraints.

Use Periodic Checks to Demonstrate Title V Compliance

February
2004
Environmental Management
Colleen McCarthy, John M. Beath
This hybrid technique of determining whether a plant is meeting its regulatory requirements helps overcome the pitfalls of action-tracking and compliance auditing.

Predesign for Pollution Prevention and Control

June
2007
Environmental Management
Gael D. Ulrich, Palligarnai T. Vasudevan
A plant's intrinsic cleanliness is determined during the predesign stage. This article provides guidance for making critical decisions during preliminary design.

Navigating the Legal Landscape

August
2011
Special Section
Arnold W. Reitze Jr., Mary Ellen Ternes
A legal framework governing carbon sequestration will need to be put in place before major carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects can get underway. A final rule issued under the Safe Drinking Water Act sets minimum requirements, but this is just...

Targeting Material Reuse via Property Integration

August
2005
Environmental Management
Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi, Vasiliki Kazantzi
Material reuse is often governed by the functionalities of the process streams. This new property-based technique creates a pinch diagram that identifies targets for the minimum use of fresh resources and waste discharge, and the maximum integration...

Retrofit Water Systems the SHARPS Way

November
2006
Environmental Management
Mohd Hisham Samingin, Norrazi Misran, Sharifah Rafidah Wan Alwi, Zainuddin A. Manan
Use the Systematic Hierarchical Approach for Resilient Process Screening (SHARPS) technique to quickly and systematically isolate cost-effective and affordable water management options prior to design.

Get the Most for Your Emissions Testing Buck

November
2004
Environmental Management
Robert M. Neimeier
A successful emissions testing program involves understanding the purpose of the testing, preparing a request for proposal, eveloping a protocol and entrusting the job with the right person.

Outsourcing Environmental Compliance

October
2002
Environmental Management
Stephen W. Blocki
Save money and reduce risks by contracting responsibility for maintaining compliance to a pollution-abatement expert.

Who Done It? The ABCs of Environmental Forensics

March
2006
Environmental Management
Jeffrey Bolin, Matthew Schroeder, Michael Sklash
These tools and techniques can be used to make sense of soil or groundwater contamination - where it came from, who is responsible for it, and how to fairly allocate the costs to clean it up.

Improve Your Air Emissions Estimates

May
2009
Environmental Management
Jeffrey H. Siegell
Process plants must report emissions from an increasing number of sources. Use these pointers to prepare more-representative emissions inventories.

Preparing for GHG Inventory Verification

April
2004
Environmental Management
- Lauren M. Sandler, James T. Wintergreen
To ensure that the greenhouse gas inventory is accurate and complete, prepare for eventual third-party verification during the planning and data collection stages.

Discussing Climate-Change Challenges

July
2007
News Feature
Matthew McKeon-Slattery
The U.S. is still at odds with other developed nations when it comes to a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the G8 Summit, President Bush opposed a pact advocated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling for CO2 emissions to be...

Characterizing a Geologic Formation

August
2011
Special Section
Daniel Brantley, John Shafer
A diverse collaboration is evaluating the geology of the South Georgia Rift basin and its suitability for long-term CO2 sequestration.

Improve Catalytic Oxidizer Operation

January
2007
Environmental Management
John C. Bonacci
A catalyst guard bed is a simple, low-cost modification that reduces catalyst-replacement costs, saves natural gas and cuts energy expenses.

Measuring and Communicating Sustainability through Eco-Efficiency Analysis

December
2010
Environmental Management
Bruce W. Uhlman, Peter Saling
Eco-efficiency analysis promotes an understanding of the economic and environmental trade-offs over products’ lifecycles, and supports informed, strategic decision-making in all areas of a business, from spurring innovative product development to...

Dealing with Climate Change at the Local Level

February
2008
Opinion
Paul A. Jennings
Whatever problems may be caused by climate change, engineers will be expected to solve them.Now is the time to begin addressing the issues at the local and regional scale.

Industrial-Scale Flare Testing

May
2006
Environmental Management
Charles Baukal, Jianhui Hong, Mahmoud Fleifil, Robert Schwartz
Advanced flare testing at full scale can help to ensure that the system operates as designed. This article explains what's involved and the parameters that should be measured and evaluated to demonstrate performance, reliability and safety.

What Does It Mean To Be Green?

September
2009
Opinion
Phillip E. Savage, P.E.
Sustainability encompasses green chemistry and green engineering, among other concepts. This article explores some of the principles of sustainability and provides a framework for developing a lifecycle approach to chemical engineering.

Collect and Destroy Emissions Safely

May
2004
Environmental Management
Tony Ennis
Vent collection and destruction systems are complex, and their safety depends on the proper integration of the discrete elements. This article provides guidance on how to achieve that.

A Renewable Route to Propylene Glycol

August
2007
News Feature
Suzanne Shelley
Rapid expansion in biodiesel production has spurred a bumper crop of competing processes to turn byproduct glycerin into propylene glycol.

Demonstrating CCS Integration

August
2011
Special Section
Nick Irvin, P.E., P.G., Richard A. Esposito
The largest, fully integrated process for separating CO2 from fluegas and compressing it to a supercritical fluid, transporting the CO2 by pipeline, and injecting the CO2 into a saline reservoir is now underway at the Plant Barry generating station...

Ensure Consistent Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimates

September
2005
Environmental Management
Karin Ritter. Susann Nordrum, Miriam Lev-On
These techniques can be used to estimate and report GHG emissions from a wide variety of diverse sources, thereby increasing global consistency.
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