Working Paper Concept Paper Version 2 This version is not peer-reviewed

Process Design and Sustainable Development - a European Perspective

Version 1 : Received: 14 November 2020 / Approved: 16 November 2020 / Online: 16 November 2020 (08:35:11 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 5 January 2021 / Approved: 5 January 2021 / Online: 5 January 2021 (11:32:26 CET)

How to cite: Glavič, P.; Novak Pintarič, Z.; Bogataj, M. Process Design and Sustainable Development - a European Perspective. Preprints 2020, 2020110399 Glavič, P.; Novak Pintarič, Z.; Bogataj, M. Process Design and Sustainable Development - a European Perspective. Preprints 2020, 2020110399


This paper describes the state of the art and future opportunities for process design and sustainable development. In the Introduction the main global megatrends and European Union's response to two of them, the European Green Deal, are presented. The organization of professionals in the field, their conferences and publications support the two topics. A brief analysis of the published documents in the two most popular databases shows that the environmental dimension predominates, followed by an economic one, while the social pillar of sustainable development is undervalued. The main design tools for sustainability are described. As an important practical case, the European chemical and process industries are analyzed and their achievements in sustainable development are highlighted; in particular, their strategies are presented in more detail. The conclusions cover the most urgent future development areas of the process industries, carbon capture with utilization or storage, process analysis, simulation, synthesis and optimization tools; zero waste, circular economy and resource efficiency already play an important role. However, more profound changes are needed in the coming decades, including a shift away from growth with changes in habits, lifestyles and business models. Lifelong education for sustainable development will play a very important role in the growth of democracy and happiness instead of consumerism and neoliberalism.


process design; sustainable development; chemical industry; process industry; megatrends; design tools


Engineering, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 5 January 2021
Commenter: Peter Glavič
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: The article has been modified according to the reviewers' suggestions, and edited regarding the English language.
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