The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) launched a new addition to their website on July 30 titled "Water at Illinois" to serve as an information hub for all the water-related research expertise available at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This access point will also serve as a repository for opportunities in the water field, including grants, educational areas, and jobs. ISTC Director Kevin O’Brien is chairman of iSEE’s Water Council which helps to coordinate the Illinois Water Scholars group, including researchers at ISTC, who are working across a number of disciplines on water issues. More on Water at Illinois
ISTC and the University of Illinois received their second Greenovation Award July 28 from Kimberly-Clark Corporation for their leading roles in supporting the recycling of nitrile gloves in laboratories, kitchens and housing facilities on campus. The local recycling program originated with engineers at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) and was quickly taken up by the University's Housing, as well as Facilities and Services Departments. Bart Bartels, technical assistance engineer at ISTC, is assisting the university with its program.
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ISTC Director Kevin O’Brien will be chairing a new session titled "Sustainable Solutions for the Power and Industrial Sector" at the upcoming Carbon Management Technology Conference which will take place November 17 – 19 in Sugar Land, Texas. The focus of this session is to "discuss products, services, and approaches that are being examined which are part of or in addition to Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage activities that impact the overall management of carbon at power generation and industrial facilities". Abstracts for this session can be submitted through August 15. To submit an abstract, please visit http://www.aiche.org/ctmc2015.
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ISTC is part of a multidisciplinary team awarded a research seed grant from the University's Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) to develop carbon nano particles as a more environmentally friendly technique for cleaning oil spills.
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A zero waste audit by ISTC for the Forest Preserves of Cook County led to an expansion of the parks' recycling capabilities, thanks to a grant from the Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful (KAB) Recycling Bin Grant Program. One of the recommendations from the waste audit was to apply for the KAB grant. The new recycling bins are now used at large special events at the preserve attracting up to 4,000 visitors. More on the Cook County Forest Preserves recycling efforts
There is increasing interest in biofuels not only to lessen dependency on foreign oil but also to promote sustainable fuels and the growth of a greener economy. ISTC's researchers currently are exploring greener alternatives for fuels used in the automotive and aviation fields. Progress is being made by them and others in using waste biomass, hard-to-recycle plastics, and other wastes for fuels. The NY Times recently reported that United Airlines is investing $30 million in Fulcrum Bioenergy to produce sustainable aviation biofuels
People at the University of Illinois who care about recycling think about changing human behavior. They wonder how to make the distinction between the landfill bin and the recycle bin so convenient and so obvious that even the most stressed and preoccupied student hits the right target. At the Champaign-Urbana campus, zero-waste is a serious commitment. It is included as a component of the Illinois Climate Action Plan which obligates the U of I to achieving carbon neutral status by 2050.
Labs at ISTC participated in a biomedical breakthrough by Beckman Institute faculty who developed a fast and inexpensive way to produce carbon nanoparticles. Measurements by John Scott, ISTC senior chemist, helped demonstrate that the particles can carry payloads of pharmaceutical drugs for targeted medical treatments. Scott used one of the Center's state-of-the-art instruments that can simultaneously measure fluorescence and absorbance of carbon nanoparticles. The work required extreme sensitivity in the parts per billion range.
The 2015 awards ceremony and technical symposium will take place on October 27, 2015 in Chicago. More on Gov's Awards
The winners of the 2014-15 Illinois Green Office Challenge were announced on June 11 in Champaign. The U.S. Army Corps Construction Engineering Research Laboratories were the champions of the challenge which empowers Illinois workplaces to reduce waste and save energy and water.
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The Center's Indoor Climate Research and Training group is working with the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority in Southeast Alaska to perform measurements that help assess how indoor and neighborhood air pollution are affected by burning solid fuel for heating. More on indoor air quality research
Billion Gallon Water Challenge
ISTC is encouraging people, businesses, organizations and others to help reduce water consumption in Illinois. It has a goal of saving one billion gallons as part of its One Billion Gallon Water Challenge efforts.