Our work with TKI is building on ASU’s deep interdisciplinary links between economics, social science, physical sciences and engineering, as we aim to reframe climate change (or at least the fossil fuel contributions to climate change) as a waste management problem with the goal of managing the CO2 concentration in the air. We are exploring the implications of such a change in perspective for societal justice and ability to introduce change. Our goal is a world in which dumping of CO2 is prohibited, in which technologies are deployed to prevent CO2 from the remaining fossil carbon use to reach the atmosphere, to remove excess CO2 from the atmosphere and to find safe and permanent disposal for this CO2. We expect that the cost of such disposal will discourage the use of fossil fuels, encourage higher efficiency when and where they are still used, and motivate the recycling and reuse of CO2 into useful products ranging from synthetic fuels to valuable chemicals.
In partnership with TKI, our team will advance mitigation of urban heat on three strands of activities: (1) Modeling impact of alternative roof surface coatings and paving technologies; (2) Development of novel asphalt pavement binders to integrate reflective properties; and (3) Field demonstration of mitigation approaches. Let us describe these activities in more detail.
The circular economy roadmap addresses and meets global opportunities, illustrating how the chemical industry can contribute to circular economy through new products, new manufacturing processes, and re-use, re-processing, re-forming and other circular activities. Incorporating KAITEKI principles of consumer, worker and community well-being -- the sociosphere -- with traditional circular economy principles merging the biosphere and technosphere, this project will develop a next-generation circular economy roadmap specific to the chemical industry. The project will include literature review and stakeholder engagement to identify and assess innovation needs and priorities.
This project proposes a wearable hybrid robotic system to address mobility issues that occur in aging populations. The goal of this system will be to support and guide the wearer through every day tasks, improving stability to reduce the risk of falls and subsequent injury. Our approach takes a three-thrust approach: 1) understanding through human biomechanics studies where and how interventions on the human body can have the highest impact, 2) the design of a suit that reconfigures itself on demand to provide external load pathways to the ground while staying transparent to the wearer in other use-cases, and 3) decision on how to reconfigure and use the suit informed by predictive biomechanics and sensor fusion approaches.
In order to be competitive in an uncertain future, and to fulfill their responsibilities to society, businesses must become much better at creating social value in addition to economic value. While KAITEKI – with its focus on health, well-being and sustainability – provides a vision for social value, no formalized process, methods or toolkit exist to assist Mitsubishi Chemical or other businesses in making strategic choices about product research and development with this vision in mind. This project will develop such a toolkit by combining best practices in sustainability assessment, public values mapping, participatory modeling and scenario development. The objective is to create a means by which Mitsubishi Chemical can assess the social value of future businesses under a variety of future conditions and take strategic decisions to pursue investments and innovations of social value under conditions of deep uncertainty. The first year will focus on developing the toolkit and testing it on a case study of aging in smart cities. Years two and three will focus on the implications of smart cities for other groups and the development of accompanying executive education and strategic implementation assistance for Mitsubishi Chemical.
We employ a novel, comprehensive approach to behavior change that leverages interests in well-being, nature, and security for the purposes of promoting well-being in multiple areas of life at once. As an extension and expansion on our ongoing work with the City of Phoenix to reduce household food waste using a values-based multimedia educational intervention, we are partnering with Kaiteki, part of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings. This follow-up study will leverage the most successful techniques from our initial research and the literature in a more targeted and refined intervention for specific low-income areas of Phoenix. We hypothesize that the values-based intervention will be effective at reducing food waste, even at a low-income level, that social and pressure to conform will contribute to reducing food waste, and that changes in participant attitudes and values regarding food will correlate to changes in food waste. We anticipate about 100 households to participate in a 5 week intervention in which we will ask them to weigh, record, and submit their food waste using materials and training we provide in an initial visit.