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Integrated decision support system for waste minimization analysis in chemical processes
Published in ACS Publications
PMID: 11999078
Volume: 36
Issue: 7
Pages: 1640 - 1648
The need to build and operate environmentally friendly plants has challenged the chemical industry to consider waste minimization or even elimination starting from the early stages of process development. A thorough waste minimization analysis requires specialized expertise and is laborious, time-consuming, expensive, and knowledge-intensive. This has caused a major technical barrier for implementing waste minimization programs within the industry. Previously, we had reported a systematic methodology and a knowledge-based system, called ENVOPExpert, for identifying waste minimization opportunities in chemical processes. In this paper, we propose an integrated qualitative - quantitative methodology to identify waste minimization alternatives and assess their efficacy in terms of environmental impact and process economics. A qualitative analysis is first conducted to identify the sources of wastes and to propose alternatives for eliminating or minimizing them. Environmental impact of each alternative is then calculated by doing a quantitative pollutant balance. The capital expenditure required for implementing the alternative and the resulting plant operating costs are also calculated and used in the evaluation of the waste minimization alternatives. Through this, practical and cost-effective options can be identified. This methodology has been implemented as an integrated decision support system and tested using the hydrodealkylation process case study with satisfactory results.
About the journal
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
PublisherACS Publications
Open AccessNo