(107a) Tools and Metrics for Environmental Sustainability | AIChE

(107a) Tools and Metrics for Environmental Sustainability

Within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development the National Risk Management Research Laboratory has been developing tools to help design and evaluate chemical processes with a life cycle perspective. These tools include the Waste Reduction (WAR) Algorithm, which is useful in the chemical process industries for evaluating eight environmental impact categories with over 2000 chemicals in its database. Applied inside WAR is a tool for toxicity prediction which can be employed on a very wide variety of chemicals. Also developed in the Laboratory is the impact assessment tool TRACI (Tool for the Replacement and Assessment of Chemical and other environmental Impacts). TRACI can be used in life cycle assessments or chemical process evaluations to evaluate the environmental fate and transport of 500+ chemicals. Both the WAR and TRACI tools are used in environmental evaluations of chemical processes by the developing tool, GREENSCOPE. GREENSCOPE considers four areas to provide metrics of the sustainability of a process or technology change. These four areas are economics, environment, efficiency and energy use. The many metrics in these four areas provide multiple perspectives on the multifaceted objective of sustainability in one tool. As this tool is further developed and used it will link these relevant metrics to sustainable practices. Examples of organic chemistries will be discussed with respect to these tools and metrics.