This volume constitutes the beginning of what Butterworth-Heinemann Publishers and I hope to provide to environmental and pollution control engineers/managers, namely an authoritative and extensive reference series covering control equipment and technologies. As a chemical engineer and a consultant, I not only had the great fortune of having a father, who was famous in the field of pollution control, but the opportunity to work in consulting practice with him on a broad spectrum of environmental problems within industry. We oftentimes talked and planned on writing an authoritative volume on the hardware and technologies available to solve pollution problems in the belief that, although there are many great works in the technical literature, the levels of presentations of this important subject vary dramatically and the information is fragmented. With my father's untimely death in 1994, and my commitment to a multi-year assignment, dealing with environmental responsible care and the development of national environmental policies in Ukraine and Russia, as part of contracts commitments to the U.S. Agency for International Development and the European Union, the original volume we intended was never written. Only now, having the opportunity to try and bring this work forward, I recognize that no single volume can do adequate justice to the subject area.
Also, there is the misconception among a younger generation of engineers that pollution control can be displaced by pollution prevention practices, and hence recent times have de-emphasized the need for engineering innovative pollution controls. I am a strong proponent of pollution prevention, and indeed have developed an international consulting practice around it. However, we should recognize that oftentimes pollution prevention relies upon essentially the identical technologies that are applied to so-called "end-of-pipe" treatment. It is the manner in which these technologies are applied, along with best management practices, which enable pollution prevention to be practiced. As such, pollution prevention does not replace the need for pollution controls, nor does it replace entire processes aimed at cleaning or preventing pollutants from entering the environment. What it does do is channel our efforts into applying traditional end-of-pipe treatment technologies in such manners that costly practices for the disposal of pollutants are avoided, and savings from energy efficiency and materials be achieved. The volume represents the initial fulfillment of a series, and is aimed at assisting process engineers, plant managers, environmental consultants, water treatment plant operators, and students. Subsequent volumes are intended to cover air pollution controls, and solid waste management and minimization. This volume is a departure from the style of technical writing that I and many of my colleagues have done in the past. What I have attempted is to discuss the subject, rather than to try and teach or summarize the technologies, the hardware, and selection criteria for different equipment. It's a subject to discuss and explore, rather than to present in a dry, strictly technical fashion. Water treatment is not only a very important subject, but it is extremely interesting. Its importance is simply one of environmental protection and public safety, because after all, water is one of the basic natural elements we rely upon for survival. Even if we are dealing with non-potable water supplies, the impact of poor quality water to process operations can be devastating in terms of achieving acceptable process efficiencies in heat exchange applications, in minimizing the maintenance requirements for heat exchange and other equipment, in the quality of certain products that rely on water as a part of their composition and processing, and ultimately upon the economics of a process operation. It's a fascinating subject, because the technology is both rapidly changing, and cost-effective, energy-saving solutions to water treatment require innovative solutions.
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