Universitat de Girona (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 8849-8854
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.2149
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Since the 90’s, the Chemical Engineering Degree of the University of Girona promoted the environmentally concerns in the class. In addition, with the Bologna process, the classes were adapted in order to evaluate the transversal competences of the process. Chemical engineers need to be able to understand and solve problems applying ethics and sustainability. For this process they also need to be capable to recollect useful information. However, the use of English and the communication capacities are also essentials and usually not enough promoted.

In the Ecological Chemistry course of the Chemical Engineering degree the program has been updated recently in order to improve the quality of the course and adapt it to nowadays trending topics. Besides, the teaching methodology has been also modified including practical sessions and more dynamic than theoretical.

The topics of the subject are intensive in the study of real cases where a sustainable process or material has been developed. One of this case study compares the petrochemical production of polyethylene (PE), one of the most common plastics in the market, with the newest bio-based methodology. Nonetheless, there are also other bio-based polymers that can correctly replace PE. In the theoretical class, an overview of the synthesis and uses of PE is discussed. Some English interactives questionnaire about the presence of PE in our daily lives are performed in order to gives the students an overview of the PE importance. Afterwards, the students look for the synthesis manufacturing processes and discuss it in an open debate in costs, environmental effects and other alternatives proposed by the students. On the other hand, in the practical sessions, the students test and characterize PE from both different manufacturing processes in more technical point of view.

The student’s feedback reported a better attitude of the students regarding more dynamical classes while they feel more self-confidence in their communication aptitudes. Moreover, the English use is also promoted with the English use in the class and the research information from scientific journals, usually published in English.
Polyethylene, Petrol, Renewable alternatives, Transversal competences, English use.