Department of Environmental Sciences

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Seminar Abstracts
Environmental Sciences Seminar Abstract            

  ASSESSMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DESIGN OF ALGAL BIOFUELS AND NOVEL ARSENIC SORBENT THROUGH GREEN CHEMISTRY AND ENGINEERING
Julie Zimmerman
Yale University

Designing tomorrow based on past lessons, current aspirations, and tomorrow's science and technology is critical to achieving a sustainable future. The role of scientists, engineers, and policy makers is central and essential to advancing this goal and in addressing the persistent challenges of under-development in the world. Recently there has been increased attention on the contribution of designers-be it of molecules, products, processes, buildings or systems-in mutually furthering social, economic, and environmental benefits towards the goal of sustainability. In order to contribute to the strategic engagement of scientists and engineers in advancing sustainability, Principles of Green Chemistry and Green Engineering Principles were established as a framework for design.

To illustrate how the Principles can be applied both across scales and across disciplines, two case studies are presented: algal biofuels and a novel sorbent for arsenic. In the case of algal biofuels, a life cycle assessment demonstrating the energy benefits of supercritical fluid extraction will be presented as well as results from bench-scale experiments designed to optimize the use of supercritical carbon dioxide for algal lipid extraction. As another example of using assessment and the Principles, a novel biosorbent based on titanium- impregnated chitosan that is competitive with many arsenic removal technologies while addressing the challenges of previous approaches will be discussed.

These case studies will demonstrate that although there are differences in terminology and jargon between those who design molecules versus those who design materials, versus those who design infrastructure systems, the fundamental approaches and guidelines in moving toward sustainability are common.


Last updated: 03/22/2011