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A New Course In Green Chemistry And Benign Processing

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Innovative Courses for ChE Students

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.74.1 - 7.74.3



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Paper Authors

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Dennis Miller

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session #2213

A New Course in Green Chemistry and Benign Processing

G.D. Yadav 1, J.E. Jackson2, and D.J. Miller3 Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 48824


The material and energy demands of modern society hinge critically on the viability and progress of the chemical and allied industries, which both provide consumer products and support other industrial sectors. The burgeoning world population over the past one hundred years, augmented by enhanced life expectancy and improved quality of life, can be tied to a significant degree to products of the chemical and allied industries. Unfortunately, the public perception of these industries is hopelessly negative for a variety of reasons, most particularly environmental issues. Consequently, the U.S. and world chemical industries are at a crossroads as we enter the first decade of the 21 st century. Commodity chemical manufacture is migrating increasingly toward developing countries, where labor and raw material costs are low and negative public sentiment is tempered by economic gain. The U.S. and other developed countries are increasingly focused on higher-value specialty products such as pharmaceuticals, foods, cosmetics, electronics, and agricultural products where technology and new products drive the marketplace. Yet even as these changes shield developed countries to a degree, there is an increasing global voice that chemicals manufacture ought to have less impact on the world environment and that it moves toward long-term sustainability (e.g. without depletion of resources). Treaties such as the Kyoto agreement, which intend to set emissions limits on a worldwide basis, legislation in Europe regarding recycling, reuse, and alternate resources, and research programs in the U.S. directed at energy efficiency and bio-based feedstocks lend further impetus to the global movement to reduce waste and develop sustainable production.

The emerging focus on environment and sustainability has popularized terms such as “atom economy”, “eco-efficiency”, “E factor” and in particular “green chemistry” that define strategies and methods to develop sustainable processes, quantify waste generation, and implement the use of alternate resources. Although chemical engineering programs have been teaching material and energy balance right from the inception of the discipline, the emphasis on resource conservation, waste minimization and hazard reduction was not apparent. During the past two decades, spectacular progress has been made in understanding chemicals as molecules and the structure- activity relationships with reference to their properties which are exploited for specific end uses. As these concepts and their applications – which we term “green engineering”- infiltrate the chemical and allied industry, today’s engineering graduates must gain familiarity with and be able to apply them. Further, the paradigm shift within the U.S. from commodities to specialties 1 2002 Johansen Crosby Professor, Michigan State University. Permanent Address: University Department of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India. 2 Department of Chemistry, Michigan State University 3 Department of Chemical Engineering, Michigan State University

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Miller, D. (2002, June), A New Course In Green Chemistry And Benign Processing Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11210

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