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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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