In 2015 all the United Nations (UN) member states adopted 17 sustainable development goals (UN-SDG) as part of the 2030 Agenda, which is a 15-year plan to meet ambitious targets to eradicate poverty, protect the environment, and improve the quality of life around the world. Although the global community has progressed, the pace of implementation must accelerate to reach the UN-SDG time-line. For this to happen, professionals, institutions, companies, governments and the general public must become cognizant of the challenges that our world faces and the potential technological solutions at hand, including those provided by chemical engineering. Process intensification (PI) is a recent engineering approach with demonstrated potential to significantly improve process efficiency and safety while reducing cost. It offers opportunities for attaining the UN-SDG goals in a cost-effective and timely manner. However, the pedagogical tools to educate undergraduate, graduate students, and professionals active in the field of PI lack clarity and focus. This paper sets out the state-of-the-art, main discussion points and guidelines for enhanced PI teaching, deliberated by experts in PI with either an academic or industrial background, as well as representatives from government and specialists in pedagogy gathered at the Lorentz Center (Leiden, The Netherlands) in June 2019 with the aim of uniting the efforts on education in PI and produce guidelines.
In this Part 1, we discuss the societal and industrial needs for an educational strategy in the framework of PI. The terminology and background information on PI, related to educational implementation in industry and academia, are provided as a preamble to Part 2, which presents practical examples that will help educating about the potential of Process Intensification.