Energy, Sustainability, and Life Cycle Assessment
Date: June 16-18, 2014 | Tuition: $2,500 | Continuing Education Units (CEUs): 1.5
*This course has limited enrollment. Apply early to guarantee your spot.
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The purpose of this class is to address the issue of sustainability from an engineering perspective. First we review the concept of sustainability from several points of view including economics, ecology, and engineering. This discussion includes the widely used “Triple Bottom Line” approach of industry. The current state of the “Science of Sustainability” will be reviewed. We then develop a resource accounting perspective in some detail with the emphasis in four areas:
1) energy resources analysis, energy flows, balances, efficiencies, primary energy use, energy return on investment, net energy analysis, renewable energy.
2) material resources analysis (including not only the materials used in the delivery of products and services, but also the effects on major material cycles such as carbon, water, and nitrogen). This approach will be expanded to aggregate both fuels and non-fuel materials by using an exergy analysis approach.
3) life cycle assessment of products and services (including variations on the method such as input-output models, hybrid models, and exergy models and a critique of the utility of LCA).
4) accounting for the role of ecosystem services in supporting industrial activities.
The class uses our new book Thermodynamics and the Destruction of Resources (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and builds these topics from a solid basis. Examples will be taken from diverse areas but with special attention to current and emerging chemical and manufacturing processes and product analysis. Participants are encouraged to bring sample cases for discussion, and class will include time for hands-on LCA for products and services of your choice.
Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings and tools (30%)
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (25%)
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world 30%)
Other: Decision making and designing for change (15%)
Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (60%)
Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (20%)
Labs: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations (20%)
Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (25%)
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (55%)
Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level (20%)
- Identify alternative interpretations of Sustainability, including economic, ecological, business (e.g. Triple Bottom Line), and resource accounting. Assess the importance of these views to your own situation. Apply resource accounting methods to sustainability problems.
- Review Thermodynamic Principles as an example of a rigorous approach to resource accounting. Apply energy and exergy accounting to new situations.
- Analyze Energy Transformation and Materials Transformation Processes using various resource accounting approaches. Examples will include chemical and manufacturing processes, recycling, nanotechnology, transportation fuels, and others.
- Explore Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), including advanced LCA methods. Apply these methods to new situations and analyze products and services.
- Examine resource accounting at multiple scales, including carbon, water, nitrogen, and ecosystem services.
Who Should Attend
This class is intended for engineers and managers from manufacturing, design, energy, and sustainability, as well as for academics (faculty, researchers, and graduate students).
References below are from the book Thermodynamics and the Destruction of Resources, B. R. Bakshi, T. G. Gutowski and D. P. Sekulic, Cambridge University Press, 2011. (Each participant will receive a copy of this book on the first day).
Session 1--1.5 hours
Introduction – A problem based introduction to basic concepts: The energy requirements and carbon emissions associated with making a product.
(Gutowski. Chapters 1, 4, 6, Appendix*)
Session 2--1.5 hours
Continuation of Introduction – Concepts include mixing and separation, energy resources, available energy and chemical exergy, efficiency, variation and industrial trends.
(Gutowski. Chapters 1, 4, 6)
Session 3--1.5 hours
An Introduction to LCA – Product phases, process models and input/output models, examples.
(Gutowski. Chapters 6, 14)
Session 4--1.5 hours
Defining a System for Sustainability: a non-trivial task – In-depth discussion of how one defines a system for sustainability analysis. Boundary definition and consequences. Detailed examples for both open and closed systems.
(Sekulic. Chapters 2, 5)
Session 5--1.5 hours
Energy in a Sustainability problem – The quality and quantity of energy. In this session we go into much more detail concerning the quality and quantity of energy resources, available energy and exergy, discussing balances, conservation of energy and non-conservation of exergy, the concept of physical exergy, mapping of exergy flows, and the difference between loss and destruction of exergy.
(Sekulic. Chapters 2, 5)
Session 6--1.5 hours
Exergo-Economics – A study of the inefficiencies and cost effectiveness of thermodynamic systems including non-energy producing and energy producing systems. Energy/exergy flows through a system. A desalination system as an example. An exergo-economics study of a refrigeration system as an example.
(Sekulic. Chapter 15)
Session 7--1.5 hours
Cumulative Exergy Analysis – In this session we will discuss the expansion of boundaries for doing exergy analysis all the way up to eco-system services. This will include the concepts of cumulative exergy and emergy.
(Bakshi. Chapters 3, 12)
Session 8--1.5 hours
Advanced Life-Cycle Assessment – Introduction to hybrid LCA methods accounting for ecosystem services in LCA and checking for errors and inconsistencies in life-cycle assessment data.
(Bakshi. Chapters 9, 12, 18)
Session 9--1.5 hours
Biomass for Fuels – Here a detailed life cycle assessment of renewable and non-renewable energy resources will be conducted with an introduction to various available tools for the analysis.
(Bakshi. Chapters 3, 10)
Session 10--1.5 hours
Design for Sustainability – This will introduce an approach for integrated design of technological and ecological systems, with detailed applications to the design of a residential system, treatment of biosolids, and management of a bio-fuel supply chain.
(Bakshi. Chapter 9)
Session 11--1.5 hours
Case Studies presented by volunteers from the class participants – Participants may make a short presentation (10 – 15 minutes) concerning a problem of interest to obtain feedback and suggestions. Volunteers need to be identified by the end of day one.
Session 12--0.75 hours
Discussion and Certificates. We will end the course with an open discussion on topics of interest to the participants. Certificates will be handed out.
(Gutowski, Bakshi, and Sekulic)
Course schedule and registration times
Class runs 9:00 am - 4:45 pm each day except for Wednesday when it ends at 4:00pm.
Registration is on Monday morning from 8:15 - 8:45 am.
Evening activities, including a dinner on Tuesday, are included in tuition.
Laptops are encouraged. Instructors make use of Eco-LCA software.
About the Lecturers
Timothy Gutowski received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. Currently he is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and a member of the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity (LMP). He was the Director of the LMP from 1994 to 2004, and the Associate Department Head for Mechanical Engineering from 2001 to 2005. From 1999 to 2001 he was the chairman of the National Science Foundation/Department of Energy panel on Environmentally Benign Manufacturing. He has over 150 technical publications and seven patents and patent applications. He is the editor of the book Advanced Composites Manufacturing, published by John Wiley in 1997.
Professor Gutowski’s research over the past 10 years has focused on the environmental issues associated with processes, products, and services. His work on manufacturing processes is extensive, including the analysis (energy and materials) of such processes as machining; grinding; casting; forming and injection molding; advanced machining processes such as abrasive waterjet and electrical discharge machining; semiconductor and MEMS processes such as CVD, PECVD, and various etching processes; and nano-materials manufacturing processes such as HiPCO and CVD. In addition, he has worked extensively on recycling processes, systems, and product design for recycling, as well as on product remanufacturing and energy savings. His work also includes the energy payback analysis for new energy systems during growth, and LCA applied to personal life styles called “Life Style Analysis”.
Bhavik Bakshi received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology along with a minor in Technology and Environmental Policy. Currently, he holds a dual appointment as a Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The Ohio State University, and Vice Chancellor and Professor of Energy and Environment at TERI University in New Delhi, India. He is also the Research Director of the Center for Resilience at OSU. From 2006 to 2010, he was a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India. He has published more than 100 articles in areas such as Process Systems Engineering and Sustainability Science and Engineering.
Professor Bakshi has active research programs in the U.S. and in India, which are developing systematic and scientifically rigorous methods for improving the sustainability and efficiency of engineering activities. This includes new methods for analyzing the life cycle of existing and emerging technologies, designing self-reliant networks of technological and ecological systems, and dealing with uncertainty. A major focus of his research has been on understanding and including the role of ecosystem services in industrial activities. This multidisciplinary research overlaps with areas such as thermodynamics, applied statistics, ecology, economics, and complexity theory. Applications include nanotechnology, green chemistry, alternate fuels, and waste utilization. His group has recently released on-line software for Ecologically-Based LCA (Eco-LCA), which is available at http://resilience.osu.edu/ecolca/.
Dusan Sekulic received his D.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1982. Currently he is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA. He is a fellow of ASME and is a consulting professor at the Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, PR China. He is the author of over 150 refereed research publications, more than a dozen book chapters, and the author of the book Fundamentals of Heat Exchanger Design (jointly with R.K. Shah), published by John Wiley & Sons, USA in English, and China Machine Press, Beijing, in Chinese. He is the editor of the book Advances in Brazing: Science, Technology and Applications, Woodhead, Cambridge, UK, and Editor of the Handbook of Heat Exchanger Design, Begell House, NY, USA.
Professor Sekulic’s research has been on thermodynamics aspects of energy and non-energy producing systems. His work on thermal design of heat exchangers used in these systems is extensive. His focus over the past ten years has been on materials processing in various manufacturing processes, in particular experimental and theoretical work in the domain of molten metal wetting and spreading for materials processing related to soldering and brazing. His interest involves studies of energy and material flows in large non-energy producing systems, such as in manufacturing, with emphasis on transformational technology selection.
This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please contact the Short Programs office for further details.
Links & Resources
- Calculating the cost of advanced manufacturing - The Environmentally Benign Manufacturing group studies the life cycle of new technologies.
- When is it worth remanufacturing? An MIT study led by Professor Gutowski shows that sometimes it saves energy, and sometimes it doesn’t. May 16, 2011 MIT News.
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