(668c) Conceptual Process Design for Sustainability

Smith, R. L. - Presenter, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

This paper considers the sustainable design of chemical processes, describing some historical advances in conceptual design, and showing how hierarchical short-cut methods and analyses can lead to more sustainable processes.  The paper describes a methodology for how process sustainability analysis can be incorporated throughout a conceptual design.  Following a hierarchical approach, short-cut design methods are used to approximate an initial conceptual design.  As an example, chlor-alkali production processes will be presented with five pollutants included as emissions.  These emissions will be analyzed using EPA’s Reference Dose (RfD) as a reference value for each emission, and also with the Human Toxicity Potential by Ingestion (HTPI) category in the Waste Reduction Algorithm (because RfD values are not always available).  The analysis will add biodegradation for suitable components.  Mercury, being an element, will not biodegrade, and results show the importance of this pollutant to the potential toxicity results, and therefore to the overall conceptual design.  

The views expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.