Green by Design: Using Thermodynamics To Guide Decisions in Industrial EcologyEPA Grant Number: U914939
Title: Green by Design: Using Thermodynamics To Guide Decisions in Industrial Ecology
Investigators: Creyts, Jon C.
Institution: University of California - Berkeley
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: January 1, 1996 through January 1, 1999
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1996) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Mechanical Engineering , Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry
The objective of this research project is to develop a practical life- cycle evaluation tool for use in the planning and design stages of manufacturing based upon fundamental thermodynamic principles. The tool should be flexible and robust, allowing for implementation across the spectra of industrial activity. In its final form, the tool should be both accessible and understandable to users with only a basic understanding of thermodynamics.
This research will be performed in three phases. The first phase is theoretical, and consists of tailoring exergy analysis techniques to this environmentally- oriented application. Specific issues to be addressed include adapting the theory to account for issues related to concentration and the mixing of solids, and integration of both human and environmental toxicological data into the evaluation process. Following the establishment of the basic theory, these thoughts will be formalized in a Java-based computer code accessible on the web for the analysis of real industrial systems. The emphases here are threefold: transparency, flexibility, and usability. It is the desire of the developer that the principles behind the code be easily understood, that it be capable of being implemented across as large a percentage of industrial activity as possible, and that it fit easily into the industrial decision-making framework to provide information that is both timely and pertinent to those who need it. The final phase of research involves validation of the tool through a series of analyses that look atexamine specific case studies, and compare results of analyses to data taken from actual industrial processes.