SS Forum: Design for the environment -- application to photovoltaic and wastewater treatment

Event Type: 
Guest Lecture
Annick Anctil
Friday, November 18, 2016 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm
1040 Dana Building
Event Sponsor: 
Center for Sustainable Systems
School of Natural Resources and Environment


Design for the environment uses a holistic approach to ensure that all stages of the life cycle of a product or system are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. The use of proactive sustainability assessment to reduce the environmental impact of new technologies will be illustrated using recent work in the area of photovoltaic (PV) and wastewater treatment. Process-based life-cycle assessment (LCA) is used to identify critical steps in current technologies and guide greener alternatives by combining theoretical environmental assessment and experimental work To ensure the long-term success of the PV industry, the potential negative impacts associated with current and future systems must be minimized throughout all stages from material extraction to end-of-life disposal. Work on the reduction of the cost, health and environmental impact of organic solar cells production, material scarcity, large-scale deployment and end-of-life waste management will be discussed. In the area of wastewater treatment, integration strategies that utilize nutrients in wastewater and carbon dioxide produced on-site to cultivate algal biomass will be presented.


  Dr. Anctil joined the Department of Civil and Environment Engineering at Michigan State University as an assistant professor in August 2014.  Her research focuses on design for the environment to ensure that all stages of the life cycle of a product or system are sustainable. Evaluating the environmental impact of commercialized and future solar photovoltaics technologies constitutes the core of her research, but she also has research projects related to battery, nanomaterials production, and wastewater treatment. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Materials Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, a master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Sustainability from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

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