Green Engineering


In this chapter, we will be introducing the basic concepts of green engineering. There is a growing demand for green engineering and environmental considerations in today’s world. Chemical and biological engineers play a key role in determining the effect engineering processes will have on the environment, which is why it is crucial for us to adopt green engineering analyses and practices in our work. This chapter provides basic concepts and definitions of green engineering and introduces methods that we can use to predict the effect our product’s life cycle will have on the environment.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the chapter, you should be able to:

Characterize green engineering developments

Assess the physical properties of substances in order to determine their environmental fate if released

Understand the steps involved in life cycle assessment (LCA)

Interpret LCA results critically


As you’re going through this chapter, here are some important terms for you to take note of:

  • green engineering
  • elimination
  • substitution
  • recycling
  • waste management hierarchy
  • environmental fate
  • group contribution method
  • octanol/water partition coefficient ([latex]K_{ow}[/latex])
  • cradle-to-grave
  • cradle-to-gate
  • gate-to-gate
  • life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • functional unit
  • goal definition & scoping
  • life cycle inventory
  • impact analysis
  • results interpretation



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Foundations of Chemical and Biological Engineering I Copyright © 2020 by Jonathan Verrett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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