Sustainability & Environment

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AIChE Credential for Sustainability Professionals

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Institute for Sustainability is well positioned to establish a baseline definition of what Sustainability entails, as well as to establish a Body of Knowledge (BOK) in the field of sustainability. The body of knowledge at the heart of the new sustainability credential is based on AIChE’s Sustainability Index.

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.

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
Michael Cipullo, Jeffrey Mueller
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...

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

Benchmarking Sustainability

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

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...

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.

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.

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...

Green Factories for Pharmaceuticals

January
2003
Special Section
Rita D'Aquino
A number of companies are honing techniques to produce a wide variety of pharmaceuticals, such as therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies in plants.

Use Cascade Analysis to Optimize Water Networks

July
2006
Environmental Management
Yin Ling Tan, Zainuddin Abdul Manan, Dominic Chwan Yee Foo
This numerical technique for identifying fresh water and wastewater targets eliminates the tedious and time-consuming steps of graphical targeting approaches. Use it to complement the graphical techniques in the design and retrofit of water networks.

Audit Your Emissions Inventory

January
2010
Environmental Management
Jeffrey H. Siegell
Some emissions reports include data that are based on faulty assumptions and methodologies. This article presents an effective approach to auditing your emissions inventory to maximize the representativeness of the reports you submit. <br>

Understand the Emerging Issue of Vapor Intrusion

October
2007
Environmental Management
Matthew Traister
The migration of vapors from contaminated groundwater and soil into aboveground buildings can adversely affect indoor air quality by creating an exposure pathway that may not have been addressed previously.

Use Sustainability Metrics to Guide Decision-Making

July
2002
Environmental Management
Beth R. Beloff, Jeanette M. Schwarz, Earl  Beaver
Sustainability provides a framework for integrating environmental, social and economic interests into effective business strategies.

Modeling Accidental Releases

November
2005
Environmental Management
Weiping Dai
This article compares several common dispersion models available in the public domain and offers guidance on selecting the appropriate one for a particular release.

Selecting the Proper Flare System

July
2011
Back To Basics
Wes Bussman, Charles E. Baukal Jr., P.E., Adam Bader
Flares allow for the safe, effective disposal of gases and liquids, by acting as relief devices when a plant must quickly dispose of product within its system to prevent overpressurization and potential explosions.

Access Environmental Information on the Internet

January
2003
Environmental Management
June C. Bolstridge
These websites provide useful data, models, publications and other resources to aid environmental decision-making and regulatory compliance activities.

Knock, Knock. Who’s There? The EPA Inspector!

July
2004
Environmental Management
 Ronald W. Zdrojeski, Lee D. Hoffman
Preparation and training can help minimize your facility’s — and your own — vulnerability to criminal prosecution for environmental violations.

Mitigating Global Climate Change Through Power-Generation Technology

November
2007
Critical Issues
Frank Princiotta
With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change set to release its Fourth Assessment Synthesis Report later this month, now is a good time for chemical engineers to take a look at this topic. This article provides a succinct integration of...

Simplify Wastewater Treatment Process Design

January
2006
Environmental Management
Sofia Mai, Elli Maria Barampouti, Apostolos Vlyssides
Unlike time-consuming conventional methods, this approach to designing a dissolved air flotation (DAF) plant requires only the physical characteristics of the flocs — their size and density, flowrate and temperature.

Preparing an Air Emissions Inventory

November
2003
Environmental Management
Marc Karell
To keep track of its emissions and its regulatory compliance status, a plant must perform a thorough, process-by-process emissions inventory.

Technology Integration Challenges

August
2011
Special Section
Ronald K. Munson, John J. Marano, Jared P. Ciferno
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) could be an important part of the transition to lower-carbon energy sources. However, widespread integration of CCS with existing power-generation plants and technologies — on a commercial scale and in a cost-...

Designing a Scrubber to Control Emergency Releases

July
2005
Environmental Management
Anne McQueen, Sunil Ojha, Jeffrey Michael Forde, Joseph W. Hower.
Here are guidelines for determining the scope of the control system, sizing the enclosure, and specifying the scrubber design.

Nanomaterials: What are the Environmental and Health Impacts?

December
2008
Critical Issues
Nastassja Lewinski
As with previous emerging technologies, there have been uncertainties and concerns about the environmental and health risks associated with nanotechnology. This article reviews some of the ongoing efforts to better understand and characterize...

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
Hassan E. Alfadala, Patrick Linke, Ahmed Abdel-Wahab, Eva M. Lovelady, Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi
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
Palligarnai T. Vasudevan, Gael D. Ulrich
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
Mary Ellen Ternes, Arnold W. Reitze Jr.
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
Vasiliki Kazantzi , Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi
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
Norrazi Misran, Mohd Hisham Samingin, Zainuddin A. Manan, Sharifah Rafidah Wan Alwi
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
Matthew Schroeder, Jeffrey Bolin, 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.
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