(481c) Industrial Sustainability Enhancement: A Control Perspective
AIChE Annual Meeting
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 9:00am to 9:30am
Depletion of nonrenewable resources, global warming, air, water, and soil pollution, excessive population growth have challenged societies globally. This has demanded industries to seriously review engineering practice and find effective ways to ensure sustainable development. Over the past decades, a variety of sustainability assessment and enhancement methods and technologies have been developed for improving material and energy efficiency, environmental cleanness, human health, product life-cycle performance, social responsibility, eco-efficiency, etc. However, problem-solving solutions are mostly derived based on experience, which make them feeble in tackling complex problems involving multi-state, long-term strategic development under uncertainty. Fundamentally, industrial sustainability enhancement is a system science problem; it is featured by solutions for a series of industrial system state transitions toward sustainability. As such transitions occur in a multi-dimensional sustainability space, its dynamics and trajectory are difficult to predict, design, and control, especially when accessible data and available information are incomplete, imprecise, and uncertain. These challenges present a new opportunity for the study on system-transition-focused sustainability dynamics, assessment, and control. In this talk, we will discuss a number of fundamental aspects of sustainability control, including the controllability of system sustainability and transition. We will then introduce hierarchical control schemes for achieving sustainability goals under uncertainty. A few case studies will be presented and research directions will be explored. This talk will also discuss approaches for integration of sustainability elements and basic methods in undergraduate education, especially in the capstone process design and process control courses.