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Trends in Chemical Engineering   Volumes    Volume 2  Issue 2
Environmental chemical engineering: Part I - Fluxion & Part II - Pathways
W. David Constant, Louis J. Thibodeaux, Angela R. Machen
Pages: 525 - 542
Number of pages: 18
Trends in Chemical Engineering
Volume 2  Issue 2

Copyright © 1994 Research Trends. All rights reserved

Process engineering in the chemical industry defines the nominal job description of a chemical engineer. Undergraduate education at most universities adheres to a basic curriculum that fabricates this product primarily for the chemical process industries (CPI). Despite these and other constraints, over the years environmental chemical engineering has achieved a position of strength and visibility within the profession and the professional organizations. In part one, this chapter will map the three phases of development of environmental chemical engineering over the years, focusing primarily on the present and future. The environmental future of the CPI will be visited through the role of the coming generation of environmental chemical engineers. When equipped with the basic tools of chemical engineering, energy and material balances, an understanding of natural systems and fate and transport in them, risk assessment, and the proper environmental management philosophy, the next generation will be equipped to apply the Natural Laws of Hazardous Waste for proper cradle-to-grave management of chemicals. Part two focuses on nature`s limits, establishing pathways to estimate the impact of our chemical management practices by expansion of balance concepts beyond “end-of-pipe” and integrating concepts beyond basic life-cycles. These cradle-to-grave balances are connected to nature`s limits via results of recent work by others on risk assessment. The combination of approaches for evaluating concentration limits of chemicals in the environment allows one to offer an engineering solution, presented using comparisons of technology choices for recycling, storage, and site remediation, for proper waste management. The overall objective of the chapter is to set the stage for the next generation of environmental chemical engineers, illustrating how engineering will change and providing a pathway for this change to occur in order to better understand and manage social and environmental system interactions.
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