(732b) Multiscale Sustainability and Metrics Correlation Characterization and Utilization | AIChE

(732b) Multiscale Sustainability and Metrics Correlation Characterization and Utilization


Huang, Y., Wayne State University
Multiscale sustainability is receiving increasing attention in sustainability science and engineering. This is mainly due to the recognition that industrial sustainability problems should not be dealt with only at, for example, the product and/or process scale; rather, the system boundary should be extended so that certain critical sustainability issues in the other scales can be addressed simultaneously. The solutions derived in this way could be more systematic and effective. Recent advances in multiscale sustainability research show that a number of methodologies are developed to investigate the problems at the scales from the product/process/plant level to industrial zones or even ecosystems, and the solutions are more systematic and general. It is anticipated that more methodological and applied studies on the scales of process/plant and up will be reported in the near future.

It should be noted that certain types of industrial sustainability problems, especially those related to product design and manufacturing, could be originated to the issues that should be addressed at a finer scale, such as a mesoscale or even a microscale of length-time. There is a serious lack of methodological study on this type of multiscale sustainability problems. In this paper, we will discuss research opportunities and challenges in this challenging area and then describe a general methodology for developing sustainability indicators at the macro, meso, and nanoscales, for characterizing those indicators and identifying correlations among them. Succeedingly, we will introduce a methodology for selecting a minimum set of indicators and conducting coordinated multiscale sustainability assessment. Further, we will compare the effectiveness of the multiscale sustainability assessment with a usual single-scale based assessment in solution identification and implementation. A case study on developing sustainable nanocoating material and manufacturing will be illustrated to demonstrate methodological efficacy.