(219c) Designing Products and Processes for Sustainability Using Greenscope: Application and Education

Authors: 
Smith, R. L., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ruiz-Mercado, G. J., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Gonzalez, M. A., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed a beta software tool called GREENSCOPE (Gauging Reaction Effectiveness for the Environmental Sustainability of Chemistries with a multi-Objective Process Evaluator) to support sustainable processes and products.  Evaluations of existing and new processes can be accomplished using GREENSCOPE with 140 indicators for objectives in four basis areas: environment, economics, energy, and efficiency.  GREENSCOPE provides information on sustainability for processes, and through product/process decisions, about product sustainability. 

Increasing sustainability can be approached through designing more sustainable products and educating those who design products and related facilities.  As chemical engineers learn elements of product design and process systems engineering the opportunity exists to introduce sustainability concepts.  The EPA’s GREENSCOPE methodology and tool can be used to teach these concepts. This work describes example calculations of GREENSCOPE indicators for the oxidation of toluene and puts the indicators into context with best- and worst-case limits.  The indicator calculations use data available from the process for the generation of oxidation products, thus transforming data into understandable information which describes sustainability.  Targets for more sustainable process designs are understood, and enhancements can be considered to improve designs, either for real-world processes or for educational purposes.