Sustainability & Environment


AIChE Credential for Sustainability Professionals

The AIChE Institute for Sustainability (IfS) is launching a program that offers engineers and other qualified professionals a specialized Credential in sustainability. The IfS is well positioned to establish a baseline definition of what Sustainability entails, as well as to establish a Body of Knowledge (BOK) in the field of sustainability.

Institute for Sustainability (IfS)

IfS is an umbrella organization encompassing a broad spectrum of activities related to sustainability. It has three sub-entities: the Sustainable Engineering Forum (SEF), the Center for Sustainable Technology Practices (CSTP), and the Youth Council on Sustainability Science and Technology (YCOSST). It also provides oversight to the AIChE Sustainability Index (sm).

Environmental Division (ENV)

The ENV division provides relevant programs on current environmental topics and non-confidential information concerning all aspects of environmental activity. The division promotes publication of papers of interest to chemical engineers in environmental activities as well as coordinates the Institute’s activities with other related societies.

AIChE and the Paris Climate Agreement

June 2, 2017

Many AIChE member engineers and their companies have supported US participation in the Paris Agreement, from which the US is now withdrawing.

Technical Entity Trends: Engineering a Sustainable World

Technical Entity Trends
Lucy Alexander
The United Nations (UN) led a global effort to develop 17 ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs) that tackle some of the greatest challenges facing people and the planet. These goals (see box) were adopted by a majority of countries around the world in 2015, including the U.S.

Earth Day: Saturday, April 22

April 18, 2017
This year Earth Day focuses on climate and environmental science literacy and will include a Science March and teach-ins in Washington, D.C.
Cover of March 2017 CEP – Cover Feature: Work-Life Balance

March 2017 CEP Preview

March 13, 2017

This month's CEP Magazine looks at managing a healthy and enjoyable work-life balance, along with features on safely servicing relief devices and on improving production scheduling for increased energy efficiency, among many other topics.

High-Powered Plasma Turns Garbage into Gas

August 14, 2012

As America's dump-truck-accessible landfill spaces fill to the brim with garbage, the nation's $12.5 billion trash hauling king turned to a 52-year-old chemical engineer with a unique solution verging on 60s science fiction: a plasma-enhanced melter technology.

GE and BP Wind Energy Celebrate Milestones

January 3, 2013

As US wind-energy developers raced to finish projects before the renewable energy tax credit expired on January 1st, GE installed its 20,000th wind turbine. And now a new twist for the US wind energy industry has emerged with the fiscal cliff vote.

Scottish Surge in Wave-Energy Innovations

December 1, 2011

In Europe offshore wind is the great blustery hope among the political class, with new projects announced weekly. But lately, scientists have begun to pay attention to ocean waves, which hold 40 times more energy than air moving at the same speed.

Changing the Future of Coal?

March 20, 2014

The Kemper plant gasifier technology is very different. It can convert low quality brown coal into into synthesis gas, while removing 65 percent of the CO2.

Bill Gates' Radical 21st Century Toilets For the World's Poor

August 22, 2012

2.5 billion of the world's poor are forced into unsanitary conditions for lack of water. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wants to end that. Say hello to the waterless toilet that turns waste into useable resources for five cents per user per day.

Radical Wind Turbine Design Coming to California

August 27, 2013

California Governor Jerry Brown has an ambitious plan to bring 20,000 megawatts of renewable power to his state, including 12,000 megawatts of distributed generation, and he wants it in place by 2020.

Bioremediation: Cleaning Up Oil Spills to Spilled Beer -- Sorry Brawny

September 20, 2010

Just when events in the Gulf seemed dire, almost Biblical, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, (an apt Old Testament pun) reported that oil from the BP spill was rapidly breaking down. Many scientists were skeptical-- it smelled like spin. The post-Exxon Valdez consensus was directly challenged.

Bio-Refinery Produces Fuel with Fertilizer as By-product

July 24, 2013

Cool Planet Energy Systems has announced high-performing drop-in biofuel that is backed by investors such as Google, GE, BP, and ConocoPhillips. The company also produces as a bi-product a fertilizer that enriches soil to produce improved feedstock yields and also assists in CO2 sequestration efforts.

Oregon Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in Trouble

April 1, 2013

Since technological and funding hurdles have forced many cellulosic ethanol companies to shut down, ZeaChem's latest news is par-for-the-course as the cellulosic biofuels industry flails at mandates from the wildly ambitious Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Promising Carbon Capture in Field Testing

July 31, 2013

Field tests conducted by US DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington aim to return carbon dioxide to the earth by injecting it into underground basalt formations.

A report from E3 2010: The Midwest’s Premier Energy, Environment and Economic Conference

December 14, 2010

Researchers, students, government officials, and nonprofit and business leaders from Minnesota and across the nation attended E3 2010, Tuesday, November 30 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. This year’s conference focused on the intersection among innovative technologies and policies, environmental benefits, and emerging market opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

Commercial Milestone: Ethanol from Landfill Waste

August 7, 2013

Biofuel maker INEOS Bio just announced that its $130 million Indian River BioEnergy Center in Vero Beach, Florida, is producing commercial quantities of transportation fuel from cellulosic biomass that is nonfood, landfill waste.

New York City to Heat Homes with Food Scraps

January 15, 2014

New York City's wastewater treatment facility is about to undertake a new program that will result in pipeline-quality natural gas to heat homes across the five boroughs.

EnviroMission to Build 2625-Foot-Tall Solar Tower in Arizona Desert

July 26, 2011

Skeptics once dismissed EnviroMission's desert Solar Tower as a visionary mirage, but now the huge energy project is on the verge of becoming reality, and, someday a world-class tourist magnet. Once completed, construction will begin on the project's 2,625-foot tower—just 390 feet shy of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Delivering power by 2015, its 200-megawatt capacity will feed the grid with enough energy for 150,000 US homes.

Technical Entity Trends: Sustainability Careers for Chemical Engineers

Technical Entity Trends
Lucy Lyudmila Alexander
The Brundtland Commission (formerly known as the World Commission on Environment and Development) coined the term sustainable development in a 1987 report, defining it as “development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising...

Little Bio-Machinery to Solve Grand Challenges

January 3, 2017
As we approach ICBE 2017, which begins this weekend in San Diego, we look back at some of the exciting research that figured among 2016's highlights and look forward to the new developments to be unveiled at ICBE 2017.

Treated Carbon Could Purify Fukushima Water

January 23, 2017

Researchers at Rice University and Kazan Federal University in Russia report that oxidatively modified carbon (OMC) presents a way to purify the hundreds of millions of gallons of contaminated wate

Profile: Pursuing Science for the Public Good

For Siddhartha “Sid” Roy, watching the Flint water crisis unfold and listening to the stories of its residents has emphasized the role the public should play in engineering and public health. “If we as engineers have a public-focused mindset, we...

October 2016 CEP Preview

October 11, 2016

This month's cover feature focuses on investigating process incidents as a means of preventing future incidents.

Technical Entity Trends: Please Drink Responsibly

Technical Entity Trends
Lucy Lyudmila Alexander
The labels sustainable, biodynamic, organic, and natural are becoming almost as commonplace on wine bottles as the vintage. The addition of these descriptors only furthers wine’s reputation for ambiguity and complexity, but they have a real meaning...

Arsenic: “King of Poisons” in Food and Water

May 15, 2013

For centuries, arsenic has been known to be a classic poison, causing deaths of many historic figures. While now just a murder-mystery cliché to many, arsenic is still actually causing harm, with dangerously high levels in food and water around the world.


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