Date of Award

Spring 1995

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Demetri P. Petrides

Second Advisor

Robert J. Farrauto

Third Advisor

R. P. T. Tomkins

Abstract

There is currently much concern with the impact on the environment due to industrial processes. One method to assess this impact is to perform a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) on the process. Life Cycle Analysis is made up of three stages; Life Cycle Inventory Analysis, Life Cycle Impact Assessment, and Life Cycle Improvement Assessment. In this study, Life Cycle Inventory Analysis methodology was applied to two industrial processes for producing anhydrous ethanol. The first process is the fermentation of corn, and the second is the hydration of ethylene using water and a catalyst. Each process was first modeled using the BioPro Designer, a process simulator, to generate the material and energy balances associated with each process. The result of the Life Cycle Inventory Analysis on each process was an eco-vector which contained all material inputs, energy inputs, and emissions associated with each step of each of the processes.

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