Sustainable Alternatives for Decarbonization


Decarbonization is a means to tackle the energy-water-environment-food-health challenge that we face on earth. Starting from carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technologies from dynamic and stationary emissions to their integration with utilization and/or sequestration technologies, to integrated networks to achieve zero-emission are opportunities worth considering for decarbonization. Techno-economic and sustainability evaluation of well-known technologies, such as direct air capture as well as capture from flue gas streams need to be performed to verify the conditions under which a net zero-emission of CO2 could be achieved through these technologies. However, as capture of CO2 alone will most likely not achieve the objectives of decarbonization, other options such as utilization and sequestration of captured CO2 also need to be considered. Both these options, however, have well-known limitations and are unlikely to provide sustainable alternatives. A promising option, particularly for energy intensive chemical, petrochemical, and related processes, is to consider a network of technologies that integrates the base process converting raw materials to desired products with technologies that supply energy, water, and other utilities, which the process demands together with technologies to capture CO2 for on-site utilization. A systems approach with a new class of methods and computer-aided tools are needed to tackle the complexity related to the mathematical representation of the problem and its efficient solution. The lecture will highlight different sustainable decarbonization alternatives together with known CO2 capture technologies ordered in terms of their ability to achieve net-zero or negative emissions. In addition, limitations of utilization and sequestration alternatives will be highlighted, and sustainable integrated networks that can achieve decarbonization objectives in the short-term and long-term will be presented.


*E-mail: rgani@pseforspeed.com





Name: Rafiqul Gani
Title: Professor, Dr, CEO
Affiliation: PSE for SPEED Company Limited
E-mail: rgani2018@gmail.com; rgani@pseforspeed.com
Tel (mobile): +45 28516305
Address: Ordrup Jagtvej 42D, DK-2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark


Short bio-data: Prof Gani is is currently the CEO of PSE for SPEED, a company he co-founded in 2018 and is also a distinguished adjunct professor at HKUST (Hong Kong University of Science & Technology) at Guangzhou (China), an honorary professor at ECUST (East China University of Science & Technology) at Shanghai (China), and a distinguished research professor at Széchenyi István University at Győr (Hungary). Starting from 1985, Prof Gani worked at the Department of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, where he founded the CAPEC research center and industrial consortium. Prof Gani served as editor-in-chief of Computers and Chemical Engineering journal (2009-2015) and currently serves as editor for the Sustainable Production & Consumption journal and is a member of advisory boards for several peer-reviewed international journals. Prof Gani has been awarded five Doctor Honoris Causa degrees from University Politehnica Bucharest (Romania), University of Pannonia (Hungary), Babes-Bolyai University (Romania), University of Maribor (Slovenia) & Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana (Mexico). He is an ex-president of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (2015-2018), a member of the Danish Academy of Science, a Fellow of AIChE and a Fellow of IChemE. He has received numerous awards, including the AIChE Computers in Chemical Engineering award in 2015, the EFCE Jacques Villermaux medal in 2019, the IChemE Sargent Medal in 2021 and the American Society for Engineering Education award for excellence in Chemical Engineering education in 2022. He has published more than 550 articles in peer reviewed international journals and proceedings plus 5 edited books and 1 text-book. His publications have given him an H-index of 80 in GoogleScholar, 68 in SCOPUS and 61 in Web of Science (January 2024). Prof Gani’s current research includes development and application of computer aided methods and associated tools for modelling; property estimation; process and/or product synthesis, design & intensification; and process-tools integration with emphasis on energy, sustainability, decarbonization and application of a systems approach.






Flow Cells for Long-Duration Energy Storage

Tianshou Zhao
Director of Energy Institute for Carbon Neutrality
Chair Professor of Mechanical & Energy Engineering
Southern University of Science & Technology


Flow cells are those in which a flowable storage medium (e.g.: hydrogen, methanol, ammonia, liquid electrolytes, etc.)  allows decoupling power and energy. This talk will show that flow cells are scable, safe, and particularly flexiable in storage duration and site selections. Therefore, flow cells will become game-changing technologies to facilitate the widespread deployment of renewables. In particular, we will show that common scientific issues and practical challenges pertaining to flow cell technologies can be addressed by an interdisciplinary approach combining electrochemistry and thermophyiscs.







Biography of T.S. Zhao
Tianshou Zhao is Director of Energy Institute for Carbon Neutrality, Chair Professor of Mechanical & Energy Engineering, Southern University of Science & Technology (SUSTech). Befor joining SUSTech in 2021, he held the named professorship of Engineering and Environment at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. Prof. Zhao is an elected academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the American Society Mechanical Engineers, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Fellow of the Chinese Society of Chemistry, and a Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate/Thomson Reuters, and Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer. He has made seminal contributions in the areas of fuel cells, advanced batteries, multi-scale multiphase heat and mass transport with electrochemical reactions, and computational modeling. Prof. Zhao received the State Natural Science Award, the Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize for Scientific and Technological Progress, the Croucher Senior Fellowship award, and among others.


The global challenge of municipal solid waste (MSW) management is escalating due to population growth, rapid urbanisation, and shifting consumption patterns. In many developing countries, including Malaysia, MSW is often mismanaged through open dumping or burning without proper landfill gas collection and energy recovery systems. This leads to significant environmental and health risks with inherent cost inefficiencies. Addressing these pressing issues necessitates adopting a sustainable MSW management approach. A multi-objective life cycle sustainability assessment optimisation model is developed by considering the environmental (planet), economic (profit), and social (people) impacts of various potential MSW facilities. Findings reveal that mechanical material recovery facility (MRF) is the most sustainable solid waste facility, outperforming open landfills by 7.5 (environmental), 2.7 (economic), and 1.95 (social) times, followed by incineration, anaerobic digestion (AD), tunnel composting, and sanitary landfill. Given the heterogeneous nature of MSW with high variations in composition and characteristics, a combination of waste facilities is imperative for effective treatment. Optimisation is crucial in determining the most efficient waste treatment configuration. Among Pareto optimal solutions, the study recommends an optimal MSW treatment configuration for Malaysia that minimises environmental impact while maximising economic feasibility and social acceptance, diverting 26% of waste to composting, 37% to AD, 17% to incineration, and 21% to MRF. Specifically, the optimal configuration suggests directing paper, wood, yard waste, and a portion of food waste meeting composting ratios to composting facilities. Community engagement is vital for implementing circular and sustainable MSW treatment practices like MRF, composting, and AD, which require proper waste segregation. Strengthening legislation and initiatives such as optical sorting bags and Pay-as-You-Throw (PAYT) can enhance waste segregation. Local authorities can increase participation through capacity-building programs, providing tools and recycling bins, and offering incentives like compost buy-back mechanisms and recycling take-back programs. This study provides the policy implications and recommendations, facilitating the stakeholders and policymakers to foster a circular and sustainable MSW management practice.





Chew Tin Lee, PhD
Connecting the 3Ps (Planet, Profit, People) for Sustainable Municipal Solid Waste Management
LEE Chew Tin, Ms.
Professor, PhD, CEng (IChemE)
Faculty of Chemical & Energy Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
81310 Johor Bahru. Johor. MALAYSIA
E-mail: ctlee@utm.my, people.utm.my/ctlee/about


Chew Tin Lee
University of Technology Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Dr Chew Tin Lee received her PhD in Engineering from the University of Cambridge, U.K in 2004. She currently serves as a Professor in the School of Chemical & Energy Engineering, University of Technology Malaysia (UTM), Malaysia. She is passionate about promoting sustainable organic waste management through the 3R campaign, biomass to energy, and composting. She published over 170 international scientific papers. Lee serves various editorial roles, including in the Journal of Cleaner Production (2018-2022), Energy, and Chemical Engineering Transactions. She was the Director of Global Education at UTM (2008-2016). She is the Co-chair/Director of the International Conference on Low Carbon in Asia (www.iclcaconf.com); she runs international summer programs to promote sustainability. She served as the Visiting Scholar at the University of Politechnica Madrid (2015), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2019) and Dalian University of Technology (2023). She is a chartered engineer of IChemE U.K. and a member of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia.
E-mail: ctlee@utm.my
Research areas: Waste Management, Circular Economy, Greenhouse Gases Inventory,