Drinking water tops poll of best ‘inventions’

Sponsored by

Drinking water tops poll of best ‘inventions’

Drinking water and sanitation have been voted as two of the most important chemically engineered inventions and solutions of the modern era, according to a new poll published by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).

From a shortlist of over 40 inventions, chemical engineers have voted for their most important chemically engineered solutions over the past century, with drinking water, petrol and antibiotics topping the poll.

The ten inventions, considered to have made the biggest impact on society, were:

1.    Drinking or potable water
2.    Petrol or gasoline (and other fuels including diesel)
3.    Antibiotics
4.    Electricity generation (from fossil fuels)
5.    Vaccines
6.    Plastics
7.    Fertilizer
8.    Sanitation
9.    Electricity generation (from non-fossil fuels)
10.  Dosed medications (such as tablets, pills and capsules).

Some notable inventions which didn’t make the top ten included biofuels (11), contraceptives (12), batteries (13), the catalytic converter (14), adhesives (28), pneumatic tyres (39) and photographic film (41).

David Brown, IChemE’s chief executive, said: “The facilities and plants built to deliver products like petrol and clean water are equally impressive. It is easy to forget how complex they are. Here too, chemical engineers make a major contribution to the design and operation of industrial facilities, and their safe management.”

Brown added: “As the global population grows to an estimated nine billion by 2050, issues like energy generation, the management of health, water supply and food production will become more challenging. They are issues that chemical engineers are already looking at to find the next generation of sustainable solutions.”

###

Read more

UK could have four municipal desalination plants by 2050, says IChemE                                                                                 Although the UK currently only has one major desalination plant in operation in London, the country could have at least four major municipal plants by 2050 and up to 800 smaller units…

Sponsored by

RELATED PRODUCTS

TODAY'S HEADLINES

Clearing Things Up at Prequannock WTP

In 2010, the city of Newark, N.J., retained Hatch Mott MacDonald to investigate potential solutions to a problem at Pequannock WTP. Decant tanks were providing minimal solids removal as a result of removed tube settlers from deterioration. Inclined plate settlers were identified as a feasible alternative for improving supernatant water quality and were selected for pilot testing.

Be the Change: Embracing New Approaches to Foster Innovation in the Water Industry

The pressure to accommodate change will drive our traditionally risk-averse industry to embrace new and different approaches at an accelerated pace. Further, the demand for a zero-energy footprint will also drive improvements in co-generation efficiencies, energy conservation and recovery methods, and comprehensive resource recovery.

CDC preparing Ebola guidance for wastewater treatment personnel

In a recent conference call with AWWA and other major water organizations, the CDC shared it has prepared and is conducting an expedited internal review of an interim guidance on wastewater worker safety and the inactivation of the Ebola virus by wastewater treatment processes.

New partnership to measure farmers' conservation impacts on U.S. water quality

The U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Department of Agriculture have announced a new partnership that will provide a clearer picture of the benefits of farmers' conservation practices on the quality of the nation's waters. 

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA