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Using Green Chemistry and Engineering Principles to Design, Assess, and Retrofit Chemical Processes for Sustainability
Ruiz-Mercado, G., A. Carvalho, AND H. Cabezas. Using Green Chemistry and Engineering Principles to Design, Assess, and Retrofit Chemical Processes for Sustainability. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 4(11):6208-6221, (2016).
This work aims to apply three different designing tools for assisting decision-makers in evaluating, developing, and improving material management and manufacturing systems, energy efficiency, and pollution prevention, as needed for SHC Sustainable Uses of Wastes and Materials Management. The WAR Algorithm, GREENSCOPE, and SustainPro will be employed for this synergistic approach of incorporating sustainable material management at early stages of process development. The three different tools will be applied to a designed and simulated Ammonia production case study.
The concepts of green chemistry and engineering (GC&E) have been promoted as an effective qualitative framework for developing more sustainable chemical syntheses, processes, and material management techniques. This has been demonstrated by many theoretical and practical cases. In addition, there are several approaches and frameworks focused on demonstrating that improvements were achieved through GC&E technologies. However, the application of these principles is not always straightforward. We propose using systematic frameworks and tools that help practitioners when deciding which principles can be applied, the levels of implementation, prospective of obtaining simultaneous improvements in all sustainability aspects, and ways to deal with multiobjective problems. Therefore, this contribution aims to provide a systematic combination of three different and complementary design tools for assisting designers in evaluating, developing, and improving chemical manufacturing and material management systems under GC&E perspectives. The WAR Algorithm, GREENSCOPE, and SustainPro were employed for this synergistic approach of incorporating sustainability at early stages of process development. In this demonstration, simulated ammonia production is used as a case study to illustrate this advancement. Results show how to identify process design areas for improvements, key factors, multi-criteria decision-making solutions, and optimal tradeoffs. Finally, conclusions were presented regarding the tools’ use in more robust sustainable process and material management designs.