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Copyright © 2018, by the Author
University of Dayton
For much of the past century, the world has seen industrial and technological progress that has helped make life better for humans but hurt the environment while doing so. Once people realized the damage that was being done, it was observed that this kind of development was not sustainable, meaning it did not “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland, 1987, p. 3). While different experts may define the term “sustainability” (or “sustainable development”), differently, they will all share the substance of Brundtland’s definition. Ever since the light was shed on the importance of sustainable development, professionals from a large array of fields have focused their attention on what can be done to ensure what humans from their generation do will not put future generations at a disadvantage.
In this article, I analyze what role chemical engineering and chemical processes have on striving towards sustainability. I will do this by first, looking at what sustainability means, and the different aspects of it, unpacking a number of concepts that have been created to help chemical engineers to operate in a sustainable way. These concepts include industrial ecology, green engineering, and looking at sustainability though an economic lens.
Arts and Humanities | Chemical Engineering | Creative Writing | Digital Humanities | Rhetoric and Composition
Raber, Alec T., "Sustainability in Chemical Engineering" (2018). Undergraduate Voices. 4.