Main content area

Recent cleaner production advances in process monitoring and optimisation

Klemeš, Jiří Jaromír, Varbanov, Petar Sabev, Huisingh, Donald
Journal of cleaner production 2012 v.34 pp. 1-8
batteries, biofuels, business enterprises, carbon dioxide, electricity, energy, energy conservation, environmental impact, environmental monitoring, hydrogen production, issues and policy, lifestyle, models, people, planning, politics, pollution, process monitoring, social impact, vehicles (equipment)
There is a growing understanding that environmental challenges, which mankind is facing cannot be solved by technological or societal sciences alone. An integrated, multi-disciplinary approach is needed, which combines the strengths of new advances in Cleaner Production technologies and political implementation of the policies and programs that are designed to help to ensure sustainable societal development based upon healthy eco-systems. With this aim in mind the organisers of the 14th International Conference on Process Integration, Modelling and Optimisation for Energy Saving and Pollution Reduction – PRES’11 – and the Editor & Publishers of the Journal of Cleaner Production joined efforts in developing this Special Issue. The main topics include environmental impact assessments, footprint assessment tools, new developments in biofuels and hydrogen production and sustainable consumption. A major section is also devoted to the increasingly important area of CO₂ minimisation. The final part addresses recent advances in electrical vehicles. Key conclusions and future trends include: Cleaner production is a more and more important part of the planning, design, operation and management in all industrial sectors. To assess and evaluate progress towards more sustainable systems, it is essential that proper monitoring of the environmental and social impacts is done on a regular basis and that the results are used to help focusing societal attention on ways to make further improvements towards sustainable societal lifestyles. Key CO₂-related aspects are avoidance, reuse, mitigation and minimisation. The preferred option of cleaner production is prevention or minimisation by better product design, process optimisation, monitoring, training and management combined with improved governmental policies that are uniformly enforced for all industrial and business facilities. An inter-linked research field, which is receiving increasing attention is energy storage related to electrical cars. They have the potential to merge several interesting options related to smart grids by using networks of car batteries for low, extra investment, electricity storage. It is anticipated that they, as well as various other opportunities, for cleaner transport will receive more attention in the coming decade.