Presentation of Student Paper Awards | AIChE

Presentation of Student Paper Awards

Decarbonization and implementing Circular Economy are two major goals for sustainable development to mitigate the challenges of climate change and increasing anthropogenic wastes. Among numerous pathways proposed for this transition, it is important to evaluate the systems level economic and environmental impacts of these pathways for selection of the most sustainable pathways. Industrial Ecology (IE) is a field of study that focuses on developing methodologies and computational tools to assess large scale impact of these interventions. One key method in IE utilizes the macroeconomic Input-Output model for evaluating the impact of planned transitions such as shifts to renewable energy, bio-based production etc. However, the existing techniques do not efficiently integrate process engineering and thermodynamics knowledge in sustainability assessments, thus limiting the automation in evaluation of new technologies under development at scale. Further, lack of engineering integration and reliance on only monetary based model introduces uncertainty in analysis due to price variation and obsolete models along with missing feedback in considering sustainability criteria in design. In this talk, I will present the advancement in systems level sustainability assessment techniques by addressing these limitations through integrating process systems engineering and thermodynamics with macroeconomic Input-Output framework. Specifically, I will present novel methodologies and computational tools that will enable fast, and reproducible quantitative evaluation of systems level environmental and economic impacts of adopting emerging technologies for decarbonization and circular economy pathways.