Sustainable Process Solutions in Göteborg, Sweden - an Overview of Experience and Challenges from a Chemical Engineering Education Case Study Course at Chalmers
Conference contribution, 2006
The Environmentally Sustainable Process Technology international masters program at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden, aims to provide students with the skills necessary to develop sustainable process solutions. The program includes courses in core chemical engineering as well as applied environmental engineering areas. A key feature of the program is the Case Study project course, in which the knowledge acquired in the program’s core courses is used to solve an industrially relevant process engineering problem using systems engineering methodology. The problem analysis and assessment of the proposed solution focus on various aspects of sustainability, including technical feasibility, economic viability and environmental performance. The course includes a field trip to the Industrial Symbiosis project in Kalundborg, Denmark. The Case Study course has been ongoing for nine years. Initial problems and development efforts are described in the paper. Focusing all projects within the Göteborg area has proven to be a major improvement to the project in that it has encouraged systemic thinking by providing a context for the students to relate to, thus enabling them to adopt the holistic attitude necessary for sustainable development. Examples of case study projects from previous years are presented to illustrate how chemical engineering education can introduce students to using process engineering methods and tools to identify sustainable process solutions, accounting for limitations in the surrounding system.