Sustainability & Environment

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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.

Preventing the Membrane Problem Most Foul [On Location]

March 15, 2011

Dr. Benny Freeman of the University of Texas at Austin presented some promising results of his team’s efforts to coat membrane surfaces with materials that greatly reduce fouling rates, and also allow for more effective cleaning when necessary.

Take in a Session and then Some Sights...by Bike

October 18, 2011

Looking to get to know Minneapolis a little better while dodging between events? Take a walk through the Skyway, or grab a quick ride on one of the city's many public bikes.

Carbon Management Technology Conference

January 13, 2012

You still have time to register for the 2012 Carbon Management Technology Conference, held 7-9 February in Orlando, Florida, at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center.
Register by Monday, 16 January to take advantage of early registration rates!

Path to Sustainability: Thoughts from the Grand Canyon

August 24, 2012

In part one of a series on sustainability, CEP editor Cindy Mascone shares thoughts and observations about water resources and the environment that were inspired by a recent trip to the Grand Canyon.

The New Cola Wars: Coke and Pepsi Battle to Bring 100% Plant-Based Bottles to Customers

April 20, 2011

I thought that the Coke and Pepsi wars, which began in the 70's (click to see a vintage, Michael Jackson, Pepsi TV ad), were long over, comfortably settled into a tit-for-tat, high-fructose-opoly. Now, suddenly, beverage industry magazines are reporting that the cola wars have erupted again: this time in a war for the first 100% plant-based bottle.

Chesapeake Energy Invests in Former Stealth Solar/Biofuels Startup

August 11, 2011

In mid-July, Chesapeake Energy, the second-largest producer of natural gas in the U.S. launched a $1 billion venture fund to invest in technologies designed to spur demand while also helping to replace dependence on foreign oil. The company's goal: 40 million gallons of transportation biofuel.

Life-Cycle Assessment Comparison of Ultraviolet and Chemical Disinfection

October 31, 2011

The equipment and capital scope of an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection systems seems so much more substantial than a simple chemical feed and contact arrangement. If a Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) is performed, however, and other less-obvious sustainability factors are considered, the choice is no longer so cut and dried.

Nanowire Could Redefine Solar Panel Efficiency

March 28, 2013

Reported this week: researchers in Denmark and Switzerland have built solar cells from individual nanowires. Their work showed that the nanowires were able to absorb considerably more light than expected based on their size.

Predictive Tools Foster Sustainability [On Location]

November 6, 2013

John Leazer discussed several key ways in which the EPA is working to promote and assist industry in their ongoing sustainability efforts. Of special significance are some software tools available from the EPA.

Purdue University wins YCOSST P3 Award

May 8, 2014

Purdue's Biowall entry took home the prize, with an ingenious design that improves indoor air quality thanks, in part, to plants' ability to purify air.

Toilet to Tap: The Future of Water

June 2, 2011

Singapore used to depend heavily on Malaysia for treated water, but now it uses state-of-the-art technology to recycle sewage and other wastewater, producing water that is claimed to be as pure as distilled water.

From Soda Bottle to Solar Light Bulb

September 23, 2011

Demi (aka Solar Demi), who comes from a very small village in the Philippines, came up with a solution to bring light to his village by turning a soda bottle into a light bulb.

Recession Silver Lining: Microgrids Help Cities Save Money

December 13, 2012

Faced with balancing budgets, smart city managers across the country have successfully turned to microgrids and LEDs to cut electricity bills by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Check out the video to learn more.

AIChE Journal Articles Make Wiley's Top 20 List

March 25, 2015

Articles from the AIChE Journal, Biotechnology Progress, Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy, and Process Safety Progress are at the top of the list of  "hottest articles in chemical en

Apple to Bring SunPower's C7 Solar Technology to China

October 27, 2015

Last April Apple announced that all of its US facilities, and 87 percent of its worldwide operations, were completely powered by renewable energy, which showed that Apple was finally getting seriou

Lufthansa's First Scheduled Passenger Biofuel Flight a Milestone for 2nd-Generation Biofuels

December 9, 2010

Commercial aviation just reached an important milestone. Germany's Lufthansa Airlines has announced they will begin using a biofuel blend for regularly scheduled passenger service starting in April. This six-month trial on Hamburg to Frankfurt flights is part of a long-term study of a 50-50 biofuel blend on flight performance, maintenance and engine life. One caveat: only one of the two engines will use the blend; the other will still rely on pure jet fuel.

Annual Meeting Showcases Green Building in Minnesota

October 23, 2011

On Wednesday, October 19, the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) Minnesota Chapter (USGBC-MN) held its own Annual Meeting designed to celebrate the previous year's accomplishments and kick-off thecalendar for 2012. The evening featured exhibits by local green businesses, engineering firms and architectural solutions providers.

Extra Optimism for Earth Day 2012

April 19, 2012

This Sunday the world will celebrate Earth Day once again, but if thoughts of the Earth's future cause you more pessimism than hope, then the new book Abundance may be exactly what you need! According to co-writers X-Prize Founder Peter Diamandis and journalist Steven Kotler, the future looks bright, and technology's rapid growth is the reason.

AIChE Greens the Annual Meeting

September 17, 2012

This year's AIChE Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh should prove to be the greenest yet! Read more about what we're doing and how you can be a part of making the meeting more sustainable.

Jeff Surma Wants to Electrify Municipal Waste

February 18, 2013

Jeff Surma, a chemical engineer by training and now something of an energy visionary, has not only proven that InEnTec, his small startup, can profitably vaporize garbage by turning it into grid power, he's also convinced that the process could scale up nationally.

Herb Cabezas on Analysis Techniques for Energy-Water-Food Nexus

November 25, 2014

Herb Cabezas, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), presented approaches for analysis of complex systems such as the energy-water-food nexus at the AIChE's World Café during the Annual Meeting. He sat down with ChEnected to discuss some of the basic concepts.

Masdar Launches Solar Desalination Pilot Program

December 11, 2015

Last month in the United Arab Emirates, Veolia Water Technologies and three other companies that have built some of the most advanced desalination technology in the world began operating a cluster

New Recyclable Bioplastic Outperforms ABS

March 28, 2016

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have devised a new plastic that is made with 50 percent renewable content from biomass.

Intel Employees Grow Algae By Harnessing their Arizona Chip Fab's Carbon Dioxide

April 27, 2011

Intel's on an roll. Just in time for Earth Day, their huge, Arizona chip fab was the first semiconductor manufacturing company to receive LEED certification for its entire campus. The improvements that led to the new LEED classification came from Intel employees, and, as the whole idea of sustainability gains momentum at Intel, many new ideas are starting to come from outside the research lab.

The Future of Glass

November 8, 2011

The engineers and scientists at Corning envision a brilliant future with extraordinary uses for glass, and some may surprise you. Check out the video at right and read the interview with Dr. Peter Bocko, chief technology officer, Corning Glass Technologies.

Is Safe, Clean Fracking Possible?

June 5, 2012

The good news is that, yes, fracking can be made safe and clean, according to a new analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA). But the down side is that it probably will take tougher regulations to make all producers to apply the latest technologies.

ICOSSE 2013

June 3, 2013

Join AIChE in Cincinnati for ICOSSE 2013, where we will look at new ways to protect the environment and achieve sustainable development.

US Navy Green Fleet Makes Biofuels the New Normal

January 29, 2016
The US Navy's biofuel program has just launched a great success with the Great Green Fleet, which is fueled with a drop-in blend of biofuel from beef tallow and petroleum-based fuel.

Bringing Value to Waste through Gas Fermentation [On Location]

March 16, 2011

As the world faces increasing energy challenges, one of the holy grails is a way to use waste carbon gasses to create new fuels or other high-value products. The ability to capture CO/CO2 to make a combustible fuel offers the possibility of a low/no-CO2 fuel. LanzaTech is currently piloting a CO/CO2 capture process, using a proprietary microbe that extracts carbon gasses from the air, to make fuel ethanol, using the basic oxygen furnace (BOF) gas from a steel mill in China. Roughly 30% of the carbon is converted into ethanol.

How Hungry Microbes Cleaned Up the Gulf Oil Spill

January 23, 2012

Professors David Valentine and Igor Mezic have developed a new computer model that demonstrates the roles of underwater topography, currents and bacteria in the Gulf of Mexico led to the disappeara

Reformulated Diesel Means Cleaner Ship Emissions

August 29, 2012

A new fuel mixture has been developed to cut air pollution from cruise ships, oil tankers, and container ships burning traditional bunker oil, the cheapest and most highly polluting form of diesel fuel.

Help Fund Sustainability Think Tank

February 14, 2014

Earthshift has launched the Start Some Good campaign to raise money to create a comprehensive methodology for companies to use when making decisions related to sustainability.

New Device Harvests Movement to Generate Energy

September 4, 2014

A new small device that relies on nanotechnology successfully generates electric current from simple vibrations. Its creators look to relieve the load on batteries or eliminate them completely.

Texas Is Giving Away Wind Energy

November 30, 2015

Wind power is now so cheap in Texas that many energy retailers offer special deals that include free electricity at night after demand drops and the turbines are still pumping out electricity.

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