Braden R. Allenby, Lauren Heine, and Mary Kirchhoff discussed opportunities to improve education at every level—from education of consumers and citizens, young people, scientists in government and business, to the employees of businesses that use and sell products. They addressed how to promote incorporation of sustainability concepts into educational curricula; develop educational materials, which include sustainability concepts as part of standardized testing programs; and provide professional development opportunities for faculty to learn about sustainability and advantageously incorporate it into research and educational efforts.

Next, speakers Berkeley W. Cue Jr., Richard Helling, and Robert J. Kavlock, talked about Enabling Technologies that Drive the Application of Green Chemistry and Engineering. They discussed the need for dedicated tools to evaluate and appreciate the numerous benefits, and potential impacts and consequences of sustainability efforts. The basic requirements, research tools, and enabling technologies needed to drive the application of green chemistry and engineering for sustainability in the chemical industry were provided.

In the third session, on New Chemistries and Processes that Lead to Commercially Viable Alternative Feedstocks to Fossil Fuels, speakers Stanley R. Bull, Mark T. Holtzapple, and Douglas C. Cameron highlighted the utilization of biomass, and other renewable and recyclable feedstocks for the production of current and future commodity chemicals. Consideration was also given to the impact of resources, materials used in the processing such as catalysts, recycling, water use, and waste generated.

Finally, Jeffrey J. Siirola, Glenn E. Nedwin, William J. Koros, and Klaus S. Lackner presented in the session on Reducing the Energy Intensity of the Chemical Process Industry, which focused on the high energy usage (intensity) of the chemical and allied industry, and the need for pursuing energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. They discussed improvements in energy efficient separation processes; utilization of enzyme catalysts for energy reduction and selectivity increases; improvements in energy efficiency for the production of biofuels and biofeedstocks; development of more effective lubricants; step change improvements in the use of solar energy and other renewable energy sources; and technological breakthroughs in CO2 separation, sequestration and use, were all addressed.

Based largely on the results of the two-day workshop, and the knowledge and experience of organizing committee members, this report identifies a set of overarching Grand Challenges for achieving sustainability in the chemistry industry, and makes recommendations about areas of research required to address those challenges. At the same time, this report is not inclusive of every research topic of relevance to sustainability, and it does not provide an in-depth analysis or an assessment of all that is needed to achieve sustainability in the chemical industry. This report is



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement