Reducing Impacts of Chemicals and Materials

Products made from chemicals and materials provide many societal benefits. However, these chemicals and materials are often created from non-renewable resources, e.g., petroleum and ores, and the depletion of such resources represents an environmental concern.  Chemicals and materials can often be produced via different processes and pathways.  All of these processes and pathways require additional resources (energy, water, etc.), and produce a variety of waste streams.  Thus, there are environmental implications in selection of processes and pathways.  Moreover, since materials and chemicals are used as raw materials to form products, product life cycle analysis must consider these raw materials.  Research at Purdue is focused on variety of issues related to chemicals and materials production, and their use in products. Issues being examined include: green chemical/material selection, more benign pathways, use of renewable resources, design of less environmentally impactful processes, and nanomaterial-related challenges and opportunities.