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CPOTE2020 logo
6th International Conference on
Contemporary Problems of Thermal Engineering
Online | 21-24 September 2020

Abstract CPOTE2020-1041-A

Book of abstracts draft
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Engineering thermodynamics and sustainability

Ron ZEVENHOVEN, Abo Akademi University, Finland

This lecture addresses the role of engineering thermodynamics in a world where mankind should have access to low-cost energy. In practice this implies a central role in the balance between economic growth, a risk of modern slavery, exploitation of the Earth's resources and Global environmental problems such as climate change and scarcity of water, often leading to armed conflict. Clearly, the negative effects of all this may be alleviated a bit by selecting proper and low-cost energy sources and resources and using these as effectively as possible with zero or minimum negative side-effects. Engineering thermodynamics is an important tool here that can feed important information into the question: "How can things be done in a sustainable way (and make the world a better place)?". Thus, after looking at the concept of sustainability from the viewpoint of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) versus possible other points of view, energy use will be focussed on. Methods and tools for describing and optimizing energy use and energy-intensive processes and activities will be presented and mirrored against the use of available energy and material resources and the environmental footprint of that. This will give guidelines for how the scope must be widened to more multi-disciplinary evaluations and, in reverse, how engineering thermodynamics can be used as a tool for non-engineers and non-thermodynamicists, including decision-makers and politicians.

Keywords: Engineering thermodynamics, Sustainability, Energy use, Resources use, Enivironmental protection
Acknowledgment: CPOTE2020 organisers for inviting the author to produce and deliver this Keynote Lecture