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.

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.

Tiny Solar Cells Pump Out Record Amounts of CPV Electricity

December 21, 2011

Dutham, North Carolina-based startup Semprius has taken the transfer-printing technology it originally developed for flexible electronics and applied it to solar cells. It's now producing low-cost cells the size of a ballpoint pen tip and able to convert 41 percent of solar energy into electricity.

Rare Earth Elements: Vital and in High Demand

January 9, 2013

It's not so much that the rare earth metals (also known as the lanthanides) are rare; there is actually a relative abundance of them. The real issue is that it's difficult to find economically viable methods by which to process them.

New "Bird-Friendly" Wind Turbines Come to California

August 14, 2014

New "shrouded" wind turbines near San Francisco will be tested to determine if they are less lethal to birds and bats than traditional turbines. Plus, they're more efficient than similar-sized turbines on the market.

General Motors' Private War on Coal

December 28, 2015

Several years ago, General Motors made a deal to turn Detroit municipal waste into steam, which helped to power one of its local plants in 2014.

April 2016 CEP Preview

April 7, 2016
This month, tips for including water conservation in your energy-management program, an introduction to mammalian cell culture, pointers for preventing caking of bulk solids, and much more.

Earth’s H2O Status Report

December 29, 2010

While 1.8 billion people have Internet access, nearly one billion people lack access to adequate amounts of fresh water, according to a comprehensive new Living Planet report by the WWF and Global Footprint.

10 Trends & Updates in Biofuel

August 3, 2011

If you're having trouble keeping up with the fast-paced changes in biofuels, the following ten blurbs and links should provide a useful snapshot of biofuel trends. Read on for more about the multitude of stunning new technologies and different feedstocks popping up around the globe; the emergence of third-generation biofuels; and the long slog ahead toward acceptance and commercialization.

WISE Interns Present Policy Recommendations on Energy Topics

October 28, 2011

In the Cecil Award Lecture, sponsored by the Environmental Division, Mikkel Vandebergh and Anita Luong presented on policy topics they had researched this summer as participants in the Washington Internships for Students in Engineering (WISE) program.

Alternative Paths to Sustainability

October 16, 2012

In the most recent editorial in the series, Cindy Mascone looks at sports and the efforts the industry is making towards sustainability.

YCOSST Focus on Sustainability Professionals: Deborah Grubbe

March 25, 2013

AIChE’s Youth Council for Sustainable Science and Technology (YCOSST), chaired by Jeff Seay and Sarah Widder, is part of the AIChE Institute for Sustainability. The goal is for YCOSST to be a clearinghouse for information and resources for K-12, undergraduates and young professionals interested in careers or college majors that involve sustainability.

King of Morocco Plans to Export Solar Power to Europe

February 19, 2016

Two weeks ago, when the King of Morocco ceremonially switched on the Noor I concentrated solar plant (CSP), he was hoping to turn his country into a renewable energy powerhouse over the next ten ye

Building a Biofuel Game-Changer

December 27, 2013

Dr Sean Simpson, founder of LanzaTech, tells about an entrepreneurial wild ride, from his first idea to his deal to make jet fuel for Virgin Atlantic Airways.

AIChE Apprentice Takes on Potable Water Challenge

July 14, 2014

Alex Avram, a chemical engineering PhD student at UARK who recently joined the three-year AIChE Apprenticeship Program, describes his plans to help communities gain access to potable water.

Recycled Packing Peanuts Become Battery Components

March 24, 2015

Researchers at Perdue University have demonstrated that it’s possible to convert waste packing peanuts into high-performance carbon electrodes for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that outperform

CNG Cars May Soon Have a Smart New Alternative

December 8, 2015
Jeffery Long, professor of chemistry and chemical and bimolecular engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues have devised a space-efficient natural-gas tank that can store the same amount of gas as bulky conventional tanks at a much lower pressure.

The Global Coal Death-Spiral Picks Up Speed

March 30, 2016

Last year the world began to decisively shift away from using coal to produce electricity. This reached a symbolic climax last week when Scotland shut down its last coal-fired po

Viatimin B2 Inspires Flow Battery Discovery

July 26, 2016
Inspired by vitamin B2, researchers at Harvard have discovered a entire new class of high-performing organic molecules that can be used in flow batteries to store electricity from solar and wind power.

Volunteers Teach Science of Urban Gardens

December 1, 2010

Community outreach and volunteer programs can benefit volunteers as much as the intended recipients of these programs. One chemical engineer shares his recent experience of getting involved with a science program in the Denver area that teaches school students about the science behind urban gardens.

Composite Materials from Natural Coconut Fibers

April 16, 2012

During the poster session at the Spring Meeting in Houston, we spoke with Ryan Vano of Natural Composites Inc. He shared with us his company's work with coconut fibers and the composite materials it's making from this largely untapped natural resource.

AIChE’s Path to Sustainability

September 13, 2012

AIChE is working towards sustainability on multiple fronts. It has formed the International Society for Water Solutions (ISWS) and the Association's Institute for Sustainability (IfS) has created the AIChE Sustainability Index, which companies can use to benchmark their sustainability performance. You'll also notice changes this year at the Annual Meeting, with the aim of a more sustainable gathering in Pittsburgh.

World Café: Energy Water Food Nexus at the 2014 Annual Meeting

November 13, 2014

The World Café will focus on the global grand challenge of energy, water and food. The session aims to build awareness of the challenge and highlight the roles chemical engineering expertise can play in addressing the systems integration and technology needs resulting from the interconnected nature of these global issues. The discussion will continue on AIChE's Linkedin Group.

Water: Industrial Discharge Permits

September 6, 2011

Environmental management groups are cracking down on industries by imposing tighter discharge limits and making industries everywhere contemplate in-house pretreatment programs—and dilution is no longer an acceptable solution.

Forward Osmosis Pilot Plant for Seawater Desalination

November 7, 2011

Forward osmosis offsets some of the high costs of reverse osmosis, but large-scale systems necessarily introduce one or more additional unit ops to recover the extracted water from the draw solution utilized. Young Kim of the Korea Institue of Machinery and Materials (KIMM) discussed her work on a forward osmosis pilot plant.

Tar Sands CO2 Emissions Could Feed Algae Biofuel

May 23, 2013

Canada is betting on carbon capture and storage (CCS) to reduce the environmental footprint associated with making fuel from oil sands, but one of the country's largest oil-sands producers is building an algae bioreactor to recycle CO2 to produce biofuels and other products such as fertilizer.

Japan Installs World's Largest Offshore Wind Turbine

September 25, 2015

Weeks before Japan restarted the first nuclear reactor of the 48 that were shut down following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, a Marubeni-led consortium installed the world’s largest offshore wind tur

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 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.


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