The 4th International Congress on Green Process Engineering (GPE2014) was held from 7 to 10 April, 2014 in Seville (Spain). It is the continuation of a successful series of international congresses initiated in 2007 by Dr. Ing, Martine Poux and Professor Patrick Cognet from the National Polytechnic Institute – University of Toulouse (France). The previous congresses were held in Toulouse (France, 2007), Venice (Italy, 2009) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia, 2011). For GPE2014, Professor Pedro Lozano (University of Murcia, Spain) and Professor Santiago V. Luis (Universitat Jaume I of Castellón, Spain) acted as scientific co-chairs of the conference.
More than 300 participants from 41 countries worldwide actively participated in the sessions and conference activities. This active participation was clearly shown by the high attendance at the plenary lectures and oral presentations, discussions around the presentations and posters, and especially in the numerous bilateral and multilateral meetings between attendees.
Similarly to previous GPE congresses, GPE2014 provided a unique opportunity to achieve a comprehensive point of view of the different research efforts carried out to achieve sustainability in the development of chemical processes, integrating a diversity of chemical and engineering aspects that contribute to reducing their environmental impact.
Among the activities included, it is worth mentioning the five plenary lectures presented by scientists and technologists of the highest international level. They were given by Professor Avelino Corma (ITQ-UPV, Valencia, Spain), Professor Walter Leitner (RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany), Dr. Paul-Joel Derian (Suez Environnement, France), Professor Eric J. Beckman (University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA) and Professor Philip Jessop (Queen’s University of Toronto, Canada). In addition to the plenary lectures, 14 invited papers and 97 oral communications were organized into three parallel sessions, and 300 poster communications were presented. A total of 16 sessions were organized around the following topics:
- Clean and sustainable technologies (5 sessions)
- New media and green reaction solvents
- Process design, modeling and optimization (4 sessions)
- Biocatalytic processes
- Biomass and biorefinery (2 sessions)
- Environment, safety and risk management
- Sustainable energy
- Education in chemistry and in green engineering.
In general, the scientific and technological quality of the communications was top notch. Thus, the work of the committee in charge of awarding the best posters (three prizes) granted to young participants was not easy.
As a consequence, a selection of the best communications will be published in the special issues of three international journals in order to cover all the scientific topics of the congress. This issue focuses on the field of Green Processes. Because of the high number of proposals received, Green Processing and Synthesis will present the articles in two special issues: Part 1 in the present issue (5), and part 2 in the following issue (6; 2014).
Overall, GPE2014 should be considered as a great success. This congress is now well-known – dare I say, worldwide – as a convivial meeting between chemical engineers and scientists of various chemical disciplines, from academia, governmental institutions or industry, who want to share advances in innovative chemical routes and new application technologies in green process engineering. This scientific community is now well identified and with Professor Patrick Cognet, I will do my best to keep it active.