Integrated Information Infrastructure for Environmentally Conscious Process Design

Masahiko HIRAO* and Hirokazu SUGIYAMA

Department of Chemical System Engineering, The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

(Received: June 24, 2003; Accepted for publication: August 8, 2003; Published on Web: September 19, 2003)

The chemical industry can contribute to global sustainability by integration of evaluation of environmental impact with product and process design activities. We constructed an activity model to incorporate life cycle assessment (LCA) into the early phase of chemical process design. We showed that reaction, process and life cycle strongly relate to each other, and proposed a methodology for the selection of chemical process from the view point of environmental impact by performing a case study, in which a chemical recycling process for PET resin was selected. An integrated information infrastructure, which is constructed by hierarchical models of reaction, unit operation, process and life cycle, is needed for the design of chemical products and processes based on LCA.

Keywords: Chemical process design, Environmental impact analysis, Life cycle assessment, Integrated information infrastructure, PET resin, Chemical recycling


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