Sustainability & Environment

Featured

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.

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...

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.

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.

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...

Controlling Emissions During Cold Furnace Startup

February
2007
Environmental Management
__
Charles E. Baukal Jr.
Jianhui Hong
Wes Bussman
Richard T. Waibel
High carbon monoxide emissions from a furnace while its temperature is being ramped up can exceed permit limits if appropriate measures are not taken. Here are a few suggestions.

Implementing an EHS Management Information System

May
2004
Information Technology
__
Jill Barson Gilbert
Information technology issues are just as important as business and environmental, health and safety considerations. Follow these ten tips to deply an effective EMIS with a positive return on investment.

Avoid Common Pitfalls When Using Henry's Law

September
2007
Environmental Management
__
Francis L. Smith
Allan H. Harvey
Here is practical guidance on the use of Henry's law in engineering calculations and how to account for the temperature dependence of the Henry's constant— which is often ignored but which can be crucial for accurate process design.

Understand the Fundamentals of Wastewater Treatment

October
2011
Back To Basics
__
Mukesh Doble
Venkatachalam Geetha
Wastewater treatment technologies range from membrane filtration to UV radiation to activated sludge. Compare their advantages and disadvantages to select the appropriate methods for your application.

Specifying Vessels for High-Pressure Dust Collectors

October
2005
Environmental Management
__
Todd Russelburg
ASME codes and standards govern the design, fabrication, testing and certification of high-pressure dust collector vessels. This article will assist you in working with a code vessel designer and/or manufacturer.

Incorporating Sustainability into Chemical Engineering Education

January
2009
Special Section
__
David T. Allen
Cynthia F. Murphy
Braden R. Allenby
Cliff I. Davidson
This benchmarking study of the types of courses offered and the material being taught sheds light on what the engineering profession regards as sustainability.

How Sustainable are Your PSM Processes?

June
2003
Safety
__
Martin C. Welch
R. Bruce Hartman
Use this audit procedure to evaluate the current performance of your process safety management processes as well as their future viability.

Reduce Your Plant’s Water Footprint

April
2011
Critical Issues
__
David L. Nystuen
Water footprint reduction and water pollution prevention are integral to any environmental sustainability initiative. Use this rigorous, systematic process to conduct a baseline water assessment that integrates water pollution prevention and water...

Develop and Maintain Your Environmental Management System

July
2008
Environmental Management
__
Kristin M. Malosh
Achieving and maintaining ISO 14000 certification for an environmental management system (EMS) is a difficult task that can be made easier by following these suggestions.

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
__
Dominic Chwan Yee Foo
Zainuddin Abdul Manan
Yin Ling Tan
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
__
Earl  Beaver
Jeanette M. Schwarz
Beth R. Beloff
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
__
Adam Bader
Charles E. Baukal Jr., P.E.
Wes Bussman
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
__
Lee D. Hoffman
 Ronald W. Zdrojeski
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
__
Apostolos Vlyssides
Elli Maria Barampouti
Sofia Mai
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
__
Jared P. Ciferno
John J. Marano
Ronald K. Munson
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
__
Joseph W. Hower.
Jeffrey Michael Forde
Sunil Ojha
Anne McQueen
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
__
Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi
Eva M. Lovelady
Ahmed Abdel-Wahab
Patrick Linke
Hassan E. Alfadala
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
__
John M. Beath
Colleen McCarthy
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
__
Sharifah Rafidah Wan Alwi
Zainuddin A. Manan
Mohd Hisham Samingin
Norrazi Misran
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
__
Michael Sklash
Jeffrey Bolin
Matthew Schroeder
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
__
James T. Wintergreen
- Lauren M. Sandler
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
__
John Shafer
Daniel Brantley
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.
Subscribe to Sustainability &amp; Environment