474597 Process Development Challenges and Opportunities in Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus

Monday, November 14, 2016: 4:30 PM
Union Square 15 & 16 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Cawas A. Cooper, Sr. Project Manager, Codexis, Inc., Redwood City, CA

Presentation will start out with a high level view of Food-Energy-Water (FEW) nexus for illustrating complexity of the topic. Global changes in population, energy needs, and water use will drive technological innovations and rapid commercialization needing chemical engineers involved in process development. Connections and interdependencies discussion among these three systems will illustrate how engineering solutions from fields like systems approach, catalysis, biocatalysis, environmental sustainability, etc. will contribute to better understanding the FEW nexus challenges and successfully overcoming them.

Broad overview of current and future process technologies important to FEW nexus selected from various NSF and AIChE workshops and recent developments reported in literature will be presented. Challenges and opportunities for successful transition from concepts to commercialization of such technologies will be discussed with actual examples at various stages of development. Examples will be presented wherever possible to show how process research and innovation, pilot plants, technology transfer, process intensification and micro process engineering as well as product design will contribute to the nexus. Need for collaborative efforts among academics, government labs, and industry across multiple disciplines and countries for local applications for ultimate success in the FEW nexus will be highlighted.

The talk will also cover selected areas where chemical engineers in general and process development engineers in particular can make significant contributions. Critical need for process research, development, and demonstrations that enables new means of adapting to future challenges will be presented. As an example, out of the three main factors nitrogen, phosphorous, and water that limit our ability to produce enough food, nitrogen and water will be covered in detail. This section of the presentation will show how catalytic and waste water treatment technologies will play the role in connection to the FEW nexus.

Main goal of the presentation will be to make audience aware of theoretical and experimental process development challenges and opportunities of the future.

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