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ISTC News Highlights

It’s Not Mr. Fusion, But It’s A Whiz at Energy Production

Watershed Initiative“Mr. Sewer” is a multi-stage waste-to-biofuel production system under development by ISTC which can extract 100 percent of energy from a wide variety of wastes. By combining hydrothermal liquefaction of wastes with algae farming, the process can extract three to 10 times the energy in the waste alone. A commercial-scale plant is now being optimized on the University of Illinois campus. MORE

Prairie Research Institute's Watershed Initiative Recognized at White House Water Summit

Watershed InitiativeThe White House Water Summit on March 22, 2016, highlighted the Prairie Research Institute’s Resilient Watersheds Initiative at the University of Illinois in its announcement of new measurable steps being taken across the country to address key water issues. The Resilient Watersheds Initiative at the University of Illinois seeks to provide a science-based and data-driven approach to promoting resilient, sustainable Illinois watersheds.

Blue Governor's Awards Trophy

Governor's Awards Applications are Now Being Accepted

Applications are now open for the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Awards (IGSA) through May 20. The award has recognized Illinois sustainability champions for 30 years and is the nation’s longest standing state environmental award program. Winners are rewarded for their efforts in minimizing environmental impact and having positive economic and societal consequences for their sustainability actions. Businesses, organizations, and communities are encouraged to register. Learn MORE

Medicine bottle labelled Thomson’s Compound / Syrup of Tar / For Consumption

Archaeometry Reveals Desperate Times for the Sick in 1850

Life was hard in 1850. Tuberculosis (consumption) was rampant, and one was likely to be dead by 40. A 'medicine' bottle discovered by Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) during a dig at Meredosia, Illinois, and analyzed in ISTC’s laboratory, gives evidence of the desperation they faced. The results were disclosed at an ISAS symposium on Feb. 19. Learn MORE

Picture of BK Sharma

Sharma Named Fellow of National Engineering Society

B.K. Sharma, senior research engineer at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, has been elected a fellow of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE). He is one of six new 2016 fellows to be honored at the 71st STLE Annual Meeting and Exhibition May 17 in Las Vegas. STLE boasts 13,000 individual- and 200-corporate and organizational members. Learn MORE

Senator Durbin Backs Research to Capture More Carbon from Coal Plants

Senator Durban at Abbott Power PlantSenator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) toured the Abbott Power Plant at the University of Illinois on Jan. 15 for a briefing on Prairie Research Institute (PRI) research to develop next-generation carbon capture technology. The first-hand look at the project was an "eye opener," Durbin said. Also, PRI has just released an informative video introduction to the work underway at the Abbott Power Plant. Learn MORE

ISTC Joins the Paris Pledge for Action

The Paris Pledge for Action Badge ISTC has joined The Paris Pledge for Action, a world-wide call to action to reduce environmental impacts and limit global warming to less than two degrees. "Minimizing the impact of climate change will require global innovation and cooperation," said Kevin O'Brien, director of ISTC at the University of Illinois' Prairie Research Institute (PRI). "There is not one solution to this societal, governmental, and technological challenge," he added, "there are as many as we can think of." Learn MORE

ISTC Feted for Leadership in Pollution Prevention and Sustainability

Quote by Dr. Emmett Brown that says You can make your future whatever you want, so make it a good one. The 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) on Nov. 9 brought together some of its founding fathers and significant players that put Illinois at the forefront of pollution prevention and sustainability. It was a great time to look back... and to the future. Learn MORE

Power Plant at University of Illinois Proposed as Site for New Carbon Capture Technology

Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award Trophies The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected a multi-national team led by the University of Illinois to develop a proposal for retrofitting the University's Abbott Power Plant in order to capture the CO2 emissions. The team includes ISTC and the Illinois State Geological Survey at the U of I – both part of the Prairie Research Institute, and the Linde Group and BASF (developers of capture technology), and Affiliated Engineering. The Phase I award is for detailed engineering and planning and is slated to have a total value of approximately $1.3 million. This is the first time the DOE has sponsored a large-scale pilot R&D project for the capture of CO2 emissions. Learn MORE

IL Green Office Challenge logo 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.
More on the competition winners

Sketch of a faucet with water flowing out to form the word 'one' for the one billion gallon water challengeBillion 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.

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Researcher Spotlight

Photo of Rupa Ganguly


Rupa Ganguly
Process Development Engineer

Rupa Ganguly is a Process Development Engineer who joined ISTC in May 2012. As an Environmental Engineer she broadly delves into wastewater treatment and its beneficial reuse. Her research interests include:

  • Performance benchmarking of wastewater treatment plants
  • Environmental sustainability and economic feasibility of emerging water treatment technologies
  • Reuse of low-value biosolids
  • Recirculating and intensive aquaculture systems
  • Remediation of saline wastewater and groundwater.

Prior to joining ISTC, Ganguly was a Scientific Engineering Associate in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where she quantified energy efficient strategies for data centers in terms of energy savings and life cycle cost analysis, benchmarking and best practices, and their impact on indoor air quality through aerosol measurements.

Ganguly holds an M.S. in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, an M.S. in engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA) and a B.E. in electrical and electronics engineering from R.V. College of Engineering (Bangalore, India).

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