Green Chemical Engineering
Green Chemical Engineering will lead us to a bright, sustainable future. Designers must strive to ensure that all materials and energy inputs and outputs are as inherently nonhazardous as possible. Use your chemical knowledge of properties like boiling point, melting point, freezing point, vapor pressure, and water solubility. In addition chemical engineers must note flammability, explosivity, compressibility, viscosity, and properties that affect heat and mass transfer. These are the starting points when we are designing a new chemical process. We have to do more. Most of us are less familiar with properties related to toxicity to environmental organisms and humans. The engineer must have a systems perspective: i.e., the ability to do mass and energy balances. Don't just look at your laboratory bench or pilot plant process. Look at your systems-factory scale-whole industrial park scale. Designers need to select chemicals or materials whose properties will not cause harm to the environment or to people. With the right choice of chemicals and materials, a designer can control how much energy is required and the form of that energy; e.g., heating, cooling, light, microwave, pressure, etc. In terms of putting toxics into the environment energy matters as much as the choice of chemicals.
Anastas, P. T., & Zimmerman. J. B. (2003). "Design through the Twelve Principles of Green Engineering" -Sustainability requires objectives at the molecular, product, process, and system levels. Environmental Science & Technolology, 2003, 37(5), 94A-101A. DOI: 10.1021/es032373g
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