Special Issue "Sustainable Products and Processes"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Bhavik Bakshi

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Sustainability Science and Engineering, Process Systems Engineering; Life Cycle Oriented Methods; Designing Resilient and Sustainable Systems; Data Analysis and Modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Consumers, governments, and societies are increasingly demanding that processes and products not cause ecological or societal harm while meeting human needs. Many efforts have even demonstrated the presence of “win-win” opportunities between economic profitability and environmental protection. Despite a high level of interest, global environmental trends show continued increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, depletion of resources, and degradation of ecosystems. These data indicate the difficulty in reversing such trends and the urgent need for developing sustainable products and processes that operate within nature's carrying capacity.

Previously, such efforts were limited to the process boundary, while now, the boundary has expanded to include the life cycle. This broader perspective reduces the chance of unexpected surprises by shifting the problem outside a narrow boundary. Methodological challenges are due to the large size and scope of the problem, the multiscale nature of models and data, high degrees of uncertainty, the importance of dynamics and complexity, the presence of multiple economic, environmental, and social objectives, etc. Many methods have been developed to address such issues, but formidable challenges remain, which require theoretical and applied research, often across multiple disciplines.

This Special Issue invites articles on the latest advances in concepts, methods, tools, and applications for developing sustainable products and processes. Articles that review the state-of-the-art and provide critical insight into the challenges and opportunities in this field are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Bhavik Bakshi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1100 CHF (Swiss Francs). Please note that for papers submitted after 30 June 2019 an APC of 1200 CHF applies. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • sustainable engineering
  • process design
  • product design
  • complexity and dynamics
  • environmental impact
  • life cycle assessment

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Techno-Economic Comparison between Two Methanol-to-Propylene Processes
Processes 2015, 3(3), 684-698; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr3030684
Received: 2 June 2015 / Accepted: 6 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (390 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
The significant increase in natural/shale gas production in the US is causing major changes in the chemical and petrochemical markets. These changes include the increased supply of methanol and the decreased supply of propylene. As such, there are promising opportunities for methanol-to-propylene processes [...] Read more.
The significant increase in natural/shale gas production in the US is causing major changes in the chemical and petrochemical markets. These changes include the increased supply of methanol and the decreased supply of propylene. As such, there are promising opportunities for methanol-to-propylene processes in the US. This paper provides a top-level techno-economic analysis of two pathways: methanol to olefins (MTO) and methanol to propylene (MTP). Base-case scenarios are simulated using ASPEN Plus to obtain the key mass and energy balances as well as design data. For each process, two scenarios are considered for the feedstock: buying methanol versus making it from natural gas. The return on investment (ROI) is calculated for both processes under broad ranges of the prices of natural gas, methanol, and products. In addition to the techno-economic analysis, the CO2 emissions are evaluated and compared. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Products and Processes)
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Open AccessArticle The Production of Vinyl Acetate Monomer as a Co-Product from the Non-Catalytic Cracking of Soybean Oil
Processes 2015, 3(3), 619-633; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr3030619
Received: 30 June 2015 / Accepted: 7 August 2015 / Published: 14 August 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (349 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Valuable chemical by-products can increase the economic viability of renewable transportation fuel facilities while increasing the sustainability of the chemical and associated industries. A study was performed to demonstrate that commercial quality chemical products could be produced using the non-catalytic cracking of crop [...] Read more.
Valuable chemical by-products can increase the economic viability of renewable transportation fuel facilities while increasing the sustainability of the chemical and associated industries. A study was performed to demonstrate that commercial quality chemical products could be produced using the non-catalytic cracking of crop oils. Using this decomposition technique generates a significant concentration of C2−C10 fatty acids which can be isolated and purified as saleable co-products along with transportation fuels. A process scheme was developed and replicated in the laboratory to demonstrate this capability. Using this scheme, an acetic acid by-product was isolated and purified then reacted with ethylene derived from renewable ethanol to generate a sample of vinyl acetate monomer. This sample was assessed by a major chemical company and found to be of acceptable quality for commercial production of polyvinyl acetate and other products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Products and Processes)
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Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Network Modeling Framework and Solution Algorithms for Systems Analysis and Optimization of the Water-Energy Nexus
Processes 2015, 3(3), 514-539; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr3030514
Received: 29 April 2015 / Accepted: 6 July 2015 / Published: 13 July 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1271 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The water footprint of energy systems must be considered, as future water scarcity has been identified as a major concern. This work presents a general life cycle network modeling and optimization framework for energy-based products and processes using a functional unit of liters [...] Read more.
The water footprint of energy systems must be considered, as future water scarcity has been identified as a major concern. This work presents a general life cycle network modeling and optimization framework for energy-based products and processes using a functional unit of liters of water consumed in the processing pathway. We analyze and optimize the water-energy nexus over the objectives of water footprint minimization, maximization of economic output per liter of water consumed (economic efficiency of water), and maximization of energy output per liter of water consumed (energy efficiency of water). A mixed integer, multiobjective nonlinear fractional programming (MINLFP) model is formulated. A mixed integer linear programing (MILP)-based branch and refine algorithm that incorporates both the parametric algorithm and nonlinear programming (NLP) subproblems is developed to boost solving efficiency. A case study in bioenergy is presented, and the water footprint is considered from biomass cultivation to biofuel production, providing a novel perspective into the consumption of water throughout the value chain. The case study, optimized successively over the three aforementioned objectives, utilizes a variety of candidate biomass feedstocks to meet primary fuel products demand (ethanol, diesel, and gasoline). A minimum water footprint of 55.1 ML/year was found, economic efficiencies of water range from −$1.31/L to $0.76/L, and energy efficiencies of water ranged from 15.32 MJ/L to 27.98 MJ/L. These results show optimization provides avenues for process improvement, as reported values for the energy efficiency of bioethanol range from 0.62 MJ/L to 3.18 MJ/L. Furthermore, the proposed solution approach was shown to be an order of magnitude more efficient than directly solving the original MINLFP problem with general purpose solvers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Products and Processes)
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Solvent and Added Bases on the Protection of Benzylamines with Carbon Dioxide
Processes 2015, 3(3), 497-513; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr3030497
Received: 20 May 2015 / Revised: 1 June 2015 / Accepted: 16 June 2015 / Published: 25 June 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1412 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The introduction and removal of protecting groups is ubiquitous in multi-step synthetic schemes. From a green chemistry standpoint, however, alternative strategies that employ in situ and reversible protection and deprotection sequences would be attractive. The reversible reactions of CO2 with amines could [...] Read more.
The introduction and removal of protecting groups is ubiquitous in multi-step synthetic schemes. From a green chemistry standpoint, however, alternative strategies that employ in situ and reversible protection and deprotection sequences would be attractive. The reversible reactions of CO2 with amines could provide a possible vehicle for realizing this strategy. Herein, we present (1) the products of reaction of benzylamines with CO2 in a variety of solvents with and without the presence of basic additives; (2) new adducts associated with CO2 protected benzylamine in acetonitrile containing 1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene (DBU); and (3) the intermolecular competitive acylation of benzylamine and benzyl alcohol and the intramolecular competitive acylation of (4-aminomethyl)phenyl) methanol with isopropenyl acetate in acetonitrile containing DBU in the absence and presence of CO2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Products and Processes)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Design of Sustainable Biofuel Processes and Supply Chains: Challenges and Opportunities
Processes 2015, 3(3), 634-663; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr3030634
Received: 30 May 2015 / Accepted: 12 August 2015 / Published: 20 August 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (687 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The current methodological approach for developing sustainable biofuel processes and supply chains is flawed. Life cycle principles are often retrospectively incorporated in the design phase resulting in incremental environmental improvement rather than selection of fuel pathways that minimize environmental impacts across the life [...] Read more.
The current methodological approach for developing sustainable biofuel processes and supply chains is flawed. Life cycle principles are often retrospectively incorporated in the design phase resulting in incremental environmental improvement rather than selection of fuel pathways that minimize environmental impacts across the life cycle. Further, designing sustainable biofuel supply chains requires joint consideration of economic, environmental, and social factors that span multiple spatial and temporal scales. However, traditional life cycle assessment (LCA) ignores economic aspects and the role of ecological goods and services in supply chains, and hence is limited in its ability for guiding decision-making among alternatives—often resulting in sub-optimal solutions. Simultaneously incorporating economic and environment objectives in the design and optimization of emerging biofuel supply chains requires a radical new paradigm. This work discusses key research opportunities and challenges in the design of emerging biofuel supply chains and provides a high-level overview of the current “state of the art” in environmental sustainability assessment of biofuel production. Additionally, a bibliometric analysis of over 20,000 biofuel research articles from 2000-to-present is performed to identify active topical areas of research in the biofuel literature, quantify the relative strength of connections between various biofuels research domains, and determine any potential research gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Products and Processes)
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Other

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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Sarah Jasper and Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi A Techno-Economic Comparison between Two Methanol-to-Propylene Processes Processes 2015, 3, 684–698
Processes 2016, 4(2), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr4020011
Received: 8 April 2016 / Accepted: 8 April 2016 / Published: 13 April 2016
PDF Full-text (145 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The authors wish to correct Table A1 of the published paper in Processes [1].[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Products and Processes)
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