Sustainable Chemical Process Design

Rafiqul Gani, Henrique A. Matos and Ana Isabel Cerqueira de Sousa Gouveia Carvalho Introduction

Economic and industrial activities are continuously increasing, which means that energy consumption, depletion of raw materials and the environmental impact are also growing in their importance to modern society. One of the major concerns, related to the environmental issues, is the increase in CO2 emissions. The substantial increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere may be attributed as the cause of the greenhouse effect, which in turn, may be responsible for changes all over the world that might not be reversible. Due to these factors the new and the old chemicals-based industries need to maintain a balance between the negative impacts caused by their activity and the benefits to human life provided by their production. New alternatives need to be designed for batch and continuous processes in order to achieve this equilibrium. The object of this chapter is to describe a systematic methodology for sustainable process design (this means less energy consumption, less CO2 emissions, etc) and the SustainPro software, through which this methodology may be applied to generate, screen and then identify sustainable alternatives in any chemical process by locating the operational, environmental, economical, and safety related bottlenecks inherent in the process.

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