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.

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.

Los Angeles' Low Cost Water-Saving Technology

August 19, 2015

For months Los Angeles has been putting millions of floating, black plastic balls into one of its largest reservoirs to block sunlight from triggering a hazardous chemical reaction.

Floating Solar Power Online from Japan to California

May 15, 2015

As the camera drone glides over solar panels floating on the waters of the Higashihira and Nishihira reservoirs in Kato City, west of Osaka, it slowly reveals one of Japan's most innovative solar p

November 2015 CEP Preview

November 16, 2015
This month, CEP's cover feature is liquid-liquid extraction, and members and non-members alike can read the full article online. See the preview for more about this month's issue.

Graphene Oxide Harnessed for Antibacterial Properties

March 3, 2016
A group of researchers in Italy are looking to graphene oxide for “green” anti-bacterial properties that could enhance medical devices and one day decrease the need for antibiotics to fight post-operative infections and reduce recovery times.

8 Reasons to Make AIChE-DECHEMA’s ESPI Conference Part of Your Summer Plans

April 14, 2011

DECHEMA, a German-based Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, and AIChE are joining forces to gather international science and technology leaders at the first Global Conference on Energy Sustainability in the Process Industries (ESPI). The conference this June in Kong Kong will present a the topic of energy efficiency across a number of industries.

From Thailand: One Perspective on the Food/Fuel Debate

May 8, 2012

On location in Thailand, a look at how the food/fuel battle is affecting life. Read on for insights into the common practice of field burning and its detrimental effect on air quality, and about the struggle over whether to use crops for biofuel or cooking oil.

Breakthrough in Organic Fuel-Cell Catalysts

October 9, 2012

One of the current problems with fuel cells is the catalyst that helps convert sources of stored energy such as hydrogen and oxygen into electrical energy.

Researchers Crack Fundamental Mechanism of Biofuel Production

July 28, 2015
This week, impressive findings emerged when a group of researchers at the University of Tokyo revealed for the first time the three-dimensional structure and mechanism of action of a key enzyme of biofuel production, cellobionic acid phosphorylase (CBAP).

2012 Annual Meeting Venue Awarded Platinum LEED Certification

July 3, 2012

The 2012 Annual Meeting has the tagline of “Cleaner Energy, Stronger Economy, Better Living,” but what exactly does that have to do with Pittsburgh? Pittsburgh, previously a booming industrial city, was once described as “hell with the lid off," but since the collapse of its steel industry, Pittsburgh has strived to build a green economy by reducing the city’s energy demands and lowering global warming emissions.

Harnessing Solar Power for High Temperature Reactions

November 19, 2012

More sunlight strikes the earth in one hour than all of the energy currently consumed on the planet in one year. As the world’s energy consumption rate is projected to double by 2050, and triple by 2100, the sun holds great potential as a sustainable energy source.

First Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Headed for Tennessee

June 24, 2013

Maybe the U.S. nuclear renaissance hasn't fizzeled. Maybe the whole paradigm has simply shifted away from building single 1,000+ megawatt behemoths, to mass producing small modular reactors ranging in size from 45 to 300 megawatts.

Electricity and the Environment

July 11, 2014

Fossil fuels will continue to play an important part in electricity generation, and this opens the doors for many opportunities for young chemical engineers.

Production of Biofuels from Giant Miscanthus [On Location]

March 18, 2011

The plant giant miscanthus (GM), a grass of Japanese origins, is proving to be a viable contender for a land-efficient biomass source of biofuels. A patented hybrid has been developed that can yield 25 tons/acre (5 times more that switchgrass), and produces a bio-oil that can be used as boiler fuel, further processed into other fuels or value added products, or reformed to generate hydrogen.

Advances in Algal Biorefineries II [On Location]

October 19, 2011

Algae and plant oils have shown great promise towards answering the energy density question, but I am reminded of a 3-step business plan that I encountered in school: Step 1 – Collect algae, Step 3 – Profit. The presenters in this session are concerned with that mysterious Step 2.

Canada Ready to Change Course on Climate Change

December 9, 2015

A breakthrough in the Paris climate talks suddenly seemed possible a year ago, after President Obama and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping — representing the world's biggest polluters — pledged to work to

Solar Canopy Capable of Generating 73,000 Megawatt Hours Annually

August 29, 2011

Drawing on the inspiration of the Bedouin tent of the Arabian Peninsula, architectural firm Predock Frane has designed Solaris, a solar canopy that drapes a massive area and acts both as a landscape and structure.The structure is entered via a tunnel passage. To make energy generation possible, intelligent solar "balloons" [...]

Closing the Lifecycle Loop on Critical Materials

November 5, 2012

The U.S. is highly dependent on foreign countries for rare earth elements (REEs) and strategic and critical materials (S&CMs). Dr. Tedd Lister and Dr. Eric Peterson of the Idaho National Laboratory propose “urban mining” to address the concerns associated with traditional mining.

First Solar Snaps Up Silicon Startup TetraSun

May 21, 2013

For thin-film mega-company First Solar, the two-year crisis caused by the solar module supply glut may be almost over. The largest manufacturer of solar panels in the United States surprised silicon valley by announcing that it will buy startup TetraSun, which makes high-capacity silicon solar cells.

Consider a Career in the Water Industry

January 20, 2016
Although not a traditional career route for chemical engineers, the water industry is a broad field that can offer both challenges and rewards.

ExxonMobil Is Going Green…Algae, that Is! [On Location]

March 15, 2011

In his keynote address to the AIChE Spring 2011 Conference, Dr. F. Emil Jacobs, VP of R & D, ExxonMobil Research and Development Company, discussed the company's views on the outlook for energy over the next 20 years, taking into consideration population growth and economic activity expansion and how they will affect energy use and demand.

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