11. Essay on an environmental issue Read an article from a science or engineering journal, from a popular
magazine, or from the Internet on some environmental issue that is of interest to you. Summarize the article in a
short memorandum format, addressed to your instructor. In the body of the memorandum, limit the length to one
page of single-spaced text, including graphics/tables (if needed). Structure the memorandum in this way:
a. Introduction and motivation
b. A description of the issue
c. A description of what engineers are doing, have done, or are going to do to address the challenge
Use of headings is appropriate, and be sure to reference information sources.
• Stratospheric ozone depletion: the chemical industry connection
• Smog in industrialized urban areas
• Toxic chemicals in commerce and in the environment
• Industrial hazardous waste generation and management
• Environmental challenges for genetically engineered foods
• The cleanup of industrial sites (Superfund program)
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• Pollution prevention issues, technologies, or initiatives
• Endocrine disruptors: What are they, why are they harmful, and what is the chemical industry doing about them?
• Environmental effects (advantages/disadvantages) of biodiesel or corn/cellulosic ethanol for transportation fuels
• Fuel cells and their environmental consequences
• Water resources: quality and quantity
• Petroleum: Are we running out? What are the alternatives?
• Renewable energy: What is it, and can it make a difference?
Potential sources of information:
Scientific and engineering research journals (check the library current journals section):
• Environmental Science & Technology
• Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy
• Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
• Chemical and Engineering News
• Scientific American
• American Chemistry Council (formerly the Chemical Manufacturers Association)
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov)
• Your state’s Department of Environmental Quality
12. Sustainable development An overview of the Report of the World Commission on Environment and
Development is at www.un-documents.net/ocf-ov.htm. A number of global challenges to the environment,
economic development, and living conditions were discussed. Summarize one or two of the key challenges in a
memo format in one or two pages.