291910 Preserving Water and Soil Resources Using Chemical Engineering Tools

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Laura Bradt, Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Chemical engineering relies on theoretical approaches to solving problems. Tools have been developed for modeling and understanding dynamic and steady-state systems within chemical engineering. These tools can be used in other systems-based areas of study, like soil science. Historically, the soil science approach to understanding the soil system emphasizes empirical and field based research. Chemical engineering tools can be applied to the current empirical understanding of the soil system in order to gain a more complex understanding of the dynamics in the soil system.

Mass targeting and integration are chemical engineering tools that can provide an understanding of overall resource use. These can be applied to a system of irrigation with saline water and later saline soil remediation. The remediation of saline soil requires large quantities of water. Mass targeting will be used to show the minimum use of water. Sensitivity analysis will show the relationship of irrigation water quality to overall water use. Economic tools will describe where economic resources are most effective. Economic resources can be used to treat irrigation water, remediate the soil, or treat and remediate in conjunction.

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