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.

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.


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.

10 Front-runners in Water-Related Research

January 4, 2011

Is turning waste and inefficiency into profit and opportunity too much to wish for? Not if you're one of finalists competing for the Imagine H2O Prize. The competition will award the most innovative and effective water-related startups that save natural resources, particularly in the areas of sourcing, distributing, treating, and disposing of water.

Making Biofuels at 10 Times the Normal Speed of Science

August 17, 2011

The biomass used to produce biofuel is most easily converted to ethanol, but that has always come with trade-offs. The primary problem: ethanol is less energy dense than petroleum-based fuels, and most vehicles can't burn more than a 15 percent mix of ethanol and standard gasoline.

Moringa Oleifera Seeds for Water Treatment in Water-Stressed Areas

October 31, 2011

The challenge of improving water quality in water-stressed areas of the world may have a natural champion in the Moringa oleifera tree. More specifically, a particular protein found in the meal of dried and ground M. oleifera seeds, when adsorbed onto sand, has shown some excellent preliminary results in removing total suspended solids (TSS) and in killing coliform bacteria.

Closing Energy and Material Balances in Food Production

May 17, 2012

The hotel I am staying at in Thailand started a hydroponic garden, turning a previously unused area into productive one. While being "green" is among their objectives, this project is also a real measure of their operational philosophy of supplying quality products in a natural way.

The New Energy Mix: Abundance and Sustainability?

October 17, 2012

The US’s surge in production of natural gas is by methods that are spreading around the world. As oil begins to be abundant, too, can we have the benefits and still move toward sustainable energy?

Rotating Algal Biofilm Reactor [On Location]

November 11, 2013

A new approach to address the problems of the large land area required for cultivation, culture contamination and the difficult and costly dewatering of the harvested cells in large-scale algal biofuel projects is under development at Iowa State University.

Feeding the Planet: A Global Crisis in Agriculture

July 19, 2012

Jonathan Foley shows how agriculture and land use may be the biggest challenge to the global environment. He looks at how these issues could grow even larger as we look to feed over 9 billion people in the future.

ARPA-E Gifts $130 Million to Cutting-Edge Energy Ideas

December 17, 2012

An early Christmas came to energy startups when The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) announced that 66 new projects will receive $130 million. This latest round of awards brings the total portfolio to 285 projects since its 2009 launch.

Greener Use of Fossil Fuels: Lithium from Coal

March 27, 2015

Geologists from the Hebei University of Engineering in Handan, China have devised a plan to extract the lithium previously discovered in coal deposits in the northern part of the South China Sea.

Termites: Homeowner Scourge or Biofuel Savior?

July 18, 2011

An unwanted house pest and suburban scourge, suddenly the termite has been accidentally and disasterously rehabilitated by science. Hyperbole? Termite control professionals don't think so.

Wind Energy Dukes It Out With Fossil Fuels

February 20, 2013

2012 turned out to be a year when old assumptions about wind energy began to shift as the planet’s installed wind capacity jumped from 238 GWs to about 282 GWs. Read about the big developments in Australia and the U.S.

Making Fracking Water Drinkable Again

March 28, 2014

Oasys Water can recycle fracking water, reducing water disposal by 80 percent and cutting the cost by up to 30 percent, thus making it cheaper than hauling water away.

Catalyst Opens Doors to New Bio-Based Plastics

December 14, 2015

Plastics manufacturers largely rely on crude oil to create isobutene in the production of plastics, but researchers at Washington State University have developed a catalyst to easily convert bio-ba

Dodge Pick-Up Runs on Water

September 7, 2010

David Seigler and Fredrick Wood and of Future Energy Concepts have converted a pick-up truck to run on nothing but water.


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