Nonequilibrium thermodynamics and constructal law guidelines for nature- inspired chemical engineering processes
September 8-13, 2019
The chemical engineering specialty deals with the processing of matter and energy, with a special emphasis on designing and operating technological apparatus for the large-scale production of chemicals and the manufacture of products with desired properties through chemical processes. Matter and energy processing can be extended to information, especially at the chemical plant scale, covering areas similar to what Nature processes.
Within the sustainable growth challenges now everywhere, Nature is a realistic model of structures and processes, whose performance, efficiency and resilience can be envied by human-made activities.
However, nature-inspiration is far from being the norm in chemical engineering. Indeed, chemical engineering textbooks and handbooks show that chemical engineering processes are designed and operated on the basis of phase equilibrium hypotheses in reaction and separation engineering, that transport phenomena are usually described with linear phenomenological law and that process regulation is also mostly done with linear control theory. Most of these concepts are decades old.
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Sergio da Cunha, Vincent Gerbaud, and Nataliya Shcherbakova, "Nonequilibrium thermodynamics and constructal law guidelines for nature- inspired chemical engineering processes" in "Nature-Inspired Engineering", Marc-Olivier Coppens, University College London, United Kingdom Bharat Bhushan, Ohio State University, USA Eds, ECI Symposium Series, (2019). https://dc.engconfintl.org/nature_inspired/28