Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation
School of Chemical Engineering


SISCA 2014 Finalist Submissions

Winners:

Timothy McCubbin, Axayacatl Gonzalez Garcia, Jason Jooste, Carlos Luna Flores – Bioconversion of C3 Chemicals through Bacterial Fermentation

Motivated by an increased understanding of the threat of global warming and rising oil and gas prices, there is a growing push by industry towards the sustainable, renewable and cheaper production of industrial chemicals.  To meet this need, we have developed a strategy for the bio-based production of C3 chemicals in Propionibacterium acidipropionici(PAC) from renewable feedstocks. Our genetic manipulation strategy exploits the unique metabolic potential of PAC to produce propanol and acrylic acid, the potential precursors of plastics with multi-billion dollar markets, as well as propionic acid.  Additionally, our proposed strategy helps to overcome key limitations preventing the economical bio-based production of these chemicals and its feasibility is supported by preliminary modelling and experimental results.

Runner-up:

Pritii Tam Wai Yin – Biogenic Hydrogen Sulphide Generation Using Mining and Municipal Waste

Sulphide is commonly used in hydrometallurgical processing. However, the cost of purchasing reagents such as sodium hydrosulphite (NaHS) and hydrogen sulphide gas (H2S) are expensive, making sulphide precipitation a less viable option comparative to carbonate and hydroxide precipitation [EPA-600/2-80-139]. H2S gas is biogenically and cheaply generated by using products of waste streams processes sourced from landfills or wastewater treatment plants (fresh inoculum), mine waste (sulphate sources), and agricultural sources (substrates). The process development of this highly valuable commodity is in line with the Dow Sustainability goals by supporting reuse and recovery of waste. Through further stages of research and engineering development, we hope to commercialise this technology with a strong and technically sound platform.

Third place:

Valentina Urrutia Guada – Emotions Management & Organizations’ Environmental Performance

Decision making occurs through the interaction of rational and non-rational elements; nevertheless efforts in the field of decision making for sustainability are focused in generating information for supporting rational deliberation processes. Acknowledging and understanding how emotions and management of emotions influence the environmental performance of an organization can build the basis for strategic shortcuts towards the achievement of sustainability in industries.