Illinois Sustainable Technology Center - University of Illinois

ISTC News Highlights

Bioenergy Investments Bode Well for Green Economic Growth

leadership boosts campus recycling recordPrivate sector investment like, United Airlines’ recent $30 million investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy to produce sustainable aviation biofuels, represents a bellwether to the prospects of Illinois economy reaping all the benefits of sustainable energy.

More on sustainable biofuel investment


Student-Staff Leadership Boosts U of I Campus Recycling Record

leadership boosts campus recycling recordPeople 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.

More on recycling improvements


ISTC Laboratories Contribute to Biomedical Breakthrough

ISTC assists with biomedical breakthroughLabs 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.

More on the nanoparticle breakthrough.


The Army is Greenest in Workplace Sustainability

Green Office Winners announcedThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Construction Engineering Research Laboratories in Champaign was the 2015 champion for green workplace achievements. It and nine other winners of the first Illinois Green Office Challenge were announced Thursday. More on the Challenge winners.


An Updated Look at PCBs in Illinois Published at University of Illinois

Governor's Award TrophyThe report stemming from the Sept. 17 scientific workshop on "PCBs and Their Impact in Illinois" has been published by the Prairie Research Institute. The one-day workshop on the University of Illinois Chicago campus gathered leading authorities on the history and science about the persistent pollutant. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are a class of synthetic chemicals widely used in industry as a coolant and electrical insulator. The report, titled "An Updated Look at PCBs," videos of panel presentations, and other useful information are available for viewing on the PCB workshop website.


Finalists for Governor's Sustainability Award to be Announced in Fall

Governor's Award Trophy Applications for the 2015 Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award closed on May 22, 2015.  Please check back soon for more details about the 2015 award ceremony that will take place on October 27, 2015 in Chicago. More on Gov's Awards


Study Finds Biomass Gasification Ash is Right Stuff for Strong, Light Masonry

Ash from biomass shown to make strong bricksAsh produced from biofuel production by biomass gasification BGA) is suitable for use in bricks and concrete and lowers costs, according to a recent technical report (TR057) published by ISTC. It is a sustainable use for ash that is usually disposed of in landfills. Small particles of ash may offer superior performance to traditional materials. More on BGA bricks




IL Green Office Challenge logo Please join us in celebrating the winners of the Illinois Green Office Challenge 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 11 at the Champaign Hilton Garden Inn, 1501 S. Neil St.! The friendly competition among business, school and agency office buildings empowers people to achieve energy and water conservation and waste reduction. It aims to make Illinois more livable, sustainable, and prosperous. RSVP for the celebration to Bart Bartels at ISTC.


Cook County Industrial Facilities to Benefit from a Consortium of Sustainability Experts

E3-Economy,  Energy, and EnvironmentDuring 2015, industrial facilities in Cook County will have the opportunity to become more competitive, thanks to an alliance of technical assistance and economic development organizations.  Companies will have free access to a range of talent from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center, ComEd, Cook County, Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation, and Calumet Area Industrial Commission. The program will include waste to profit and E3-Economy, Energy, and Environment approaches to sustainable manufacturing. In 2013, similar technical assistance services were offered to facilities in DuPage County. Among the reductions: 1.2 million kWh of electricity, 1.8 million gallons of water, 87,830 gallons of hazardous wastes.


Indoor Air Quality Studies Promote Human Health in Alaska

Varities of Common CookstovesThe 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

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

ISTC and the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) are partnering to train college faculty and staff to conduct water audits on their campuses, increasing knowledge about water use on college campuses as part of a new research grant to IGEN entitled “Water Use and Conservation on Illinois College Campuses: The Ripple Effect”. This project will further ISTC's goal of reducing water consumption in Illinois by one billion gallons as part of its One Billion Gallon Water Challenge efforts. In the first phase of a three-phase program, IGEN co-hosted a webinar with ISTC to educate interested colleges on the basics of water audits.


Prairie Research Institute Research Touted at Environment Conference in Washington D.C.

Video stillA video overview of applied research activities at the Prairie Research Institute premiered this week during the National Council for Science and the Environment’s (NCSE) Conference on Energy and Climate Change, January 27-29 in Washington, D.C. It outlines the capabilities of the Institute’s five units for applied research on the prediction, mitigation, and adaptation to climate change. The event, also known as the 15th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment, was held in advance of the November 30 - December 11, 2015, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris. Click here to view the seven minute video.


button links to news digest which a list of archived news stories about ISTC


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Researcher Spotlight

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    Dr. Kishore Rajagopalan
    Associate Director

    Dr. Rajagopalan is ISTC's Associate Director and Illinois' State Pollution Prevention Scientist. He oversees a staff of engineers and scientists working on reducing natural resource use in industrial operations and promoting beneficial reuse of industrial/agricultural waste.

    His personal research interests are in the integration of separations research to advance green process development with a special focus on membrane processes. He has more than 20 years of experience in plant operations, green process development, separations, and pollution prevention research.

    Dr. Rajagopalan received a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Madras. He earned his MS in Agricultural Engineering and a Ph.D. in Food Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has over 40 peer reviewed publications and holds five U.S. patents. His leadership in reducing the environmental footprint of the metalworking industry earned him a MVP2 Award from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.

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