(210d) Alternative Fuels and Engineering for Sustainable Development

Authors: 
Mannan, M. S., Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center
Guo, Y., Scandpower Risk Management Inc.


Engineering for Sustainable Development (ESD) is an integrated systems approach, which aims at developing a balance between the requirements of the current stakeholders without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs. This is a multi-criteria decision-making process that involves the identification of the most optimal sustainable process, which satisfies economic, ecological, social criteria as well as safety and health requirements. Certain difficulties are encountered when ESD is applied such as ill-defined criteria, scarcity of information, lack of process-specific data, metrics, and the need to satisfy multiple decision makers. To overcome these difficulties ESD can be broken down into three major steps, starting with the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the process, followed by generation of non-dominating alternatives, and finally selecting the most sustainable process by employing an analytic hierarchical selection process. This methodology starts with the prioritization of the sustainability metrics (health and safety, economic, ecological and social components). Then the alternatives are subjected to a pair-wise comparison with respect to each Sustainable Development (SD) indicator and prioritized depending on their performance. The SD indicator priority score and each individual alternative's performance score together are used to determine the most sustainable alternative. In this paper, the analysis approach and metrics for ESD are applied to alternative fuels production.

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