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Chemical Engineering in the Next 25 Years

Chemical Engineering Progress (Impact Factor: 0.33). 11/2008; 104(11):31.

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    ABSTRACT: Human society faces a set of unprecedented challenges emanating from the unsustainable nature of the current societal model. The creation of a new sustainable societal construct is required, essentially adopting a needs based approach over one based on ever increasing consumption. Failure to achieve this will result in the widespread destruction of our increasingly stressed environment followed quickly by inevitable collapse of society as we know it, both socially and economically. Technology alone is insufficient to meet the challenges at hand; ecological, social and economic considerations must be incorporated through a multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary approach. Because chemical engineers possess a core set of threshold concepts which are central to a sustainable society, and because engineers will ultimately help design any new society, they bear a moral and ethical responsibility to play an active and indeed central role in its development. A new engineering paradigm is required therefore, whereby sustainability becomes the context of engineering practice. To achieve this, a sustainability informed ethos must prevail throughout engineering curricula. Both professional institutions and educators bear responsibility in ensuring this happens without delay. Some key threshold concepts are presented here to demonstrate how this can be advanced through the chemical engineering curriculum.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · Education for Chemical Engineers
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    ABSTRACT: Sustainable value creation models incorporating economic, social and environmental dimensions have assumed high significance in the fine and speciality chemicals industry. This chapter discusses the need for adopting sustainability protocols while designing strategies for value creation. Its stresses on the importance of adopting innovation platforms across the entire business functions to develop sustainable products and services. It analyses new trends in business models driven by innovations in technology, feedstocks and materials. It discusses advances in sustainable supply chains like chemical leasing, servicing and management services. The role of strategic cost management, green chemistry and technology tools and cluster manufacturing models in enabling sustainable value creation are analyzed. It stresses on the need for innovative strategies, game changing technologies, and interdisciplinary science and engineering models to drive sustainable innovations.
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