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Perspectives on the Microscopic Principles of Eco-friendly Chemical Engineering
  • Jianzhong Wu
Jianzhong Wu
University of California, Riverside

Corresponding Author:jwu@engr.ucr.edu

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Chemical engineering is a broad field in terms of the scope of practice but the discipline has been united by a few intellectually coherent principles. Among them, thermodynamics, reaction kinetics and transport phenomena are often considered as the cornerstones, providing support for design and operation of diverse chemical processes for power generation and production of numerous industrial goods including plastics, gasoline and ammonia. Traditionally, these processes use fossil fuels as the raw material and/or energy input and thus are responsible for massive greenhouse gas emissions. As fossil-energy-based processes are deemed phasing out due to environmental concerns, development of alternative routes with renewable energy and sustainable feedstock is calling for the expansion of the knowledge base such that eco-friendly processes can be quantified, controlled and optimized with high precision. This article presents some perspectives on possible engineering developments to accelerate the ongoing paradigm shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.