Application of Expert Systems to Hazardous Waste Management. The aim of this research is to develop an expert system to aid in the selection of hazardous waste treatment methodologies. Many times an engineer who is not knowledgeable in hazardous waste management is required to select the best method for treating such waste. An expert system guides the engineer in selecting the "best" method for treatment. The user enters the flowrate and composition of a waste stream and the expert system reports a prioritized list of treatment alternatives. If the engineer desires to do so, the expert system can also report on why particular decisions were made.
Radiation Chemistry of Water. When water is exposed to ionizing radiation it reacts to form hydrogen and hydrogen peroxide. This process is know to occur from the initial formation of H and OH free radicals. Many other chemical reactions could also use this source to H and OH radicals but the yield of radicals is too small to be useful. Through the use of a mathematical model of the overall process it is hoped that a method for increasing the final yield of products can be found.
Life Cycle Assessment. This is a new area in which environmental releases from manufacture of a product are determined over the entire life of the product. This includes extraction of raw materials, production of intermediates, production of final product, use, recycle and ultimate disposal. With this tool two or more products can be compared to determine which truly has the least impact on the environment. One of the problems with this method is the extremely large amount of data which must be collected to perform an assessment. Various tools are being developed to try to decrease the amount of detailed data which must be collected. These include development of an expert system to predict which parts of the life cycle may not be significant and the use of existing generic release databases to scope the contributions of each step in the process.
B.S.ChE, University of Michigan, 1974
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1982