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A demonstration of a waste wood-powered commercial heating system is scheduled for 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Country Arbors Nursery, 1742 County Rd. 1400 N., Urbana, IL 61802. The open house and demonstration is for those interested in the potential for heating agricultural buildings, schools, churches and other structures with wood and other biomass fuels. An estimated one million tons of renewable wood in Illinois could be used to displace the use of fossil fuels. Wood heating systems could be an attractive option in buildings currently using propane, and where sawdust and other wood wastes are now disposed of. The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center which is leading this project is offering free engineering study assistance through the rest of 2017 to gauge the feasibility of this fuel in specific applications. Lunch will be served during the open house. Please RSVP to by Tuesday, Dec. 5.

2017 illinois sustainability award 

From global corporations to small specialized businesses, the Illinois Sustainability Awards (ISA) on Oct. 24, 2017, again recognized significant achievements toward keeping the state’s economy green and going strong. Twenty-two businesses and organizations were honored with awards at the Chicago event. Manufacturing giant Caterpillar, Inc., with several facilities in the state, extended its record as a leader in eco-friendly business practices with its 32nd and 33rd Illinois Sustainability Awards (ISA), the most in the 31-year history of the program. "Sustainability is no longer a ‘nice to have.' It has become a ‘must’ for businesses and their operations," said Kevin C OBrien, director of ISTC, which administers the award program. "The leadership in sustainability shown by Illinois-based businesses attracts forwardthinking businesses to the state.” Congratulations to all 2017 ISA winners!


The Emerging Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment Conference 2018 (ECAEC18) will be held on June 5-6, 2018, at the I Hotel Conference Center in Champaign, IL. The organizers of the conference are the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois. Pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides, herbicides, endocrine disrupting compounds, and other chemicals can now be detected in trace amounts in numerous water bodies and in some drinking water and their risk to human and ecosystem health is not well known. The conference will provide an opportunity to bring together leading researchers, policy makers, educators, government agencies, and others to learn and discuss all aspects of emerging contaminants in the aquatic environment. The call for abstracts will be made in January for both oral and poster presentations at the conference. There will be a special session focused on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs).


Generally, state-of-the-art technologies that aim at beneficial use of CO2 have proven too expensive to be commercially viable. Now the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is supporting research at PRI's Illinois Sustainable Technology Center to demonstrate the feasibility of producing animal feed and/or biocrude energy at significantly lower cost than demonstrated before. The cost of capturing flue gas at coal-fired power plants can be offset if that gas can be made an industrial commodity. This study will explore the feasibility of combining municipal wastewater with the waste gas to produce algae at accelerated rates. The $1.25 million research project will combine technologies for bio-energy production that have been developed at ISTC in collaboration with the private partner Helios-NRG, headquartered in East Amherst, NY.


A low-energy water treatment system developed at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) has been selected for development by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as an improved technology for water conservation in power plants. Aquapod© combines forward osmosis and small amounts of heat. Now ISTC will evaluate scaling up the patented technology for use at power plants where it is estimated to double to quadruple water recovery per unit of energy expended compared to the best current methods.