Prof. En Sup Yoon

School of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea


The sustainability in the future energy/chemical process industries


Sustainability commonly means the protection of environmental resources and economic growth with not only the consideration of the social, economic and environmental influence but also the enhancement of human health and life. The care of supply chain related to feedstock, transportation and production has to be essential for achieving economic stability and sustainable development. In this respect, diversity of energy resources is a significant issue for the synthesis and optimization of energy process. The renewable or synthetic energy resources stand out as a solution of conflictions not only between limited energy resources and increasing energy demand but also between increasing energy consumption and air pollution related to global warming. Recently synthetic energy sources which have the benefits such as environmental friendliness, high energy density, and potential for commercialization have been in the lead among alternatives to petroleum based energy. This paper deals with dimethyl ether (DME) production process which is one of the synthetic energy challenges. DME is sulfur-free and near-zero aromatics synthetic fuel, considered as an excellent substitute for conventional diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). As DME can be produced from synthesis gas (syngas), it is possible to be synthesized from natural gas, coal, biomass, and/or coal seam. State-of-the-art technologies for DME production from biomass feedstock and a superstructure representation were investigated. For carrying out a comprehensive design study, a mathematical representation of each process and mixed-integer logic conditions are associated with the selection of technologies and connectivity restrictions. From this work, the process involved other energy resources which have various types of feedstock, and production technologies can be equally applied so that the synthesis of energy process promises sustainability. Sustainability, which must be considered for the future, can be expressed as the following equation (1).

Sustainability is function of Economy (4~5%), Energy (Diversity & Gas), Environment (Green growth & GHG reduction), Security (Diverse sources & Transportation routes), Safety (Big S), Stability (Supply & Demand), and Globalization (Standardization & Pricing). In this study, the sustainability has increased by considering the diversity of energy sources and stabilizing the energy supply & demand. By selecting the DME as an alternating energy sources, it provided more sustainability, since it furnish more diversity and considers environmental issues more compared to petroleum.

Brief Biography:

En Sup Yoon has been very active professor in Seoul National University at chemical engineering department, since 1983. Currently, he is responsible for many organizations. For instance, he has been adviser in Korean Society of Hazard Mitigation, chair for World Conference of Safety of Oil and Gas Industry, president in Korean association of professional safety engineers, and adviser in both System & safety Plus technology Corporation and Daewoo shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. His outstanding research and contribution in chemical process has made won many rewards. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Paper Award of 2010 from the society of Chemical Engineers, Honorary Award from Seoul National University in 2003, Award for Monthly Best Scientist from Ministry of Science & Technology in 1998 and etc. He was not only a good researcher but also devoted teacher. His passion towards his student had made 131 master students and 67 Ph.D students who are now working in many different areas and showing their leadership in the world. The main area of his current research is chemical process safety minimizing the human risk and the sustainability in chemical industry.