ChemE Colloquia - Jeffrey J. Sirrola, Carnegie Mellon University
Thoughts on Sustainability, Energy, Carbon Management, and Shale Gas
There is much interest in concepts of sustainability within the chemical industry, especially related to health, safety, and environmental performance, product stewardship, value chain management, efficient use of resources, and mitigation of potential climate change. However, perhaps the greatest sustainability challenges are those associated with energy production and consumption. Energy consumption directly contributes to the majority of carbon dioxide emissions, and recent estimates of future economic growth indicate that global energy consumption may more than triple over the coming decades. Since at present carbon capture and sequestration technologies are very expensive, in difficult economic times emphasis is being given first to energy conservation and fuel switching as primary carbon management approaches. A number of current issues will be discussed including economic limitations to implementing energy conservation in retrofit situations, new approaches to the optimum control of energy during process operations, techniques to hasten the utilization of biomass energy sources, and the impacts of global shale gas development.
Jeff Siirola retired in 2011 as a Technology Fellow at Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport Tennessee where he had been for more than 39 years. He now holds half time positions as Professor of Engineering Practice at Purdue University and Distinguished Service Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems at Carnegie Mellon University.
Siirola received a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Utah in 1967 and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1970. His areas of interest include chemical process synthesis, computer-aided conceptual process engineering, design theory and methodology, chemical process development and technology assessment, resource conservation and recovery, sustainable development and growth, carbon management, and chemical engineering education.
Siirola is currently Secretary and a member of the Executive Committee of ABET. He is also a trustee and past president of CACHE (Computer Aids for Chemical Engineering Education), and a member of the American Chemical Society, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and the American Society for Engineering Education. He has served on numerous National Research Council, National Science Foundation, and Department of Energy panels, and on the advisory boards of several journals and chemical engineering departments.
Siirola is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was the 2005 President of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.