Advancing a Water Circular Economy: Key to Sustainable Process Development
With the world population estimated to reach 8.3 billion by 2030, global demand for water is expected to increase by 30 percent, energy by 45 percent and food by 50 percent, according to the United Nations. Maximizing efficient water use is a critical step for society and the bottom line for industry growth. Nearly a quarter of the 830 companies surveyed by the Carbon Disclosure Project said that water-related issues could limit the growth of their business with conversations around water challenges increasingly becoming a boardroom topic in planning for the future. As engineers, we play a key role in bringing science to the fore-front to ensure the flow of water is enough for society and industry. Science, together with strong water stewardship programs, breakthrough advances in separation and purification technology, and closing the loop to enable efficient water and energy use will all play a key role in meeting the demand and quality challenges of the future. Designing processes for a circular economy is at the intersection of technology and sustainability to design processes and innovations for the future. Please attend the Mid-Michigan AIChE meeting to hear about how Dow is leading the evolution to a circular economy and the path toward achieving our 2025 sustainability goals in water.
Tracy Young is the Core R&D Program Director for the Consumer,Infrastructure, and Performance Silicones Division at The Dow Chemical Company. In this role, she is responsible for leading the corporate research portfolio for the energy and water, building and construction, automotive, electronics, coatings, consumer care, and performance silicones businesses. Prior to this role, she was the Growth Technologies Associate R&D Director for the Dow Water and Process Solutions business unit with global responsibility for exploration and acquisition of new technologies and developing new applications for reverse osmosis membranes, ultrafiltration, and ion exchange. She has managed global laboratories in nine countries, including startup of two commercial scale water pilot research centers in Spain and Saudi Arabia. She has been a key member of the Dow Corporate Water Strategy Team, actively leading technology programs to address the water-energy nexus and launch Dow’s 2025 sustainability goal to advance a circular economy through breakthrough water reuse partnerships. Young is currently the industry chair for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers International Society for Water Solutions and a member of the Institute for Sustainability managing board and has served as an industrial advisory board member for several water industry and University research organizations. She joined Dow after receiving her bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Michigan State University.