Illinois Sustainable Technology Center - University of Illinois

ISTC News Highlights

Applications Invited for Governor's Sustainability Awards

Governor's Award Trophy Nominations for the 2015 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards Program are now being accepted to recognize significant achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving the economy. Last year's applicants boasted $7.7 million in savings among business, organizations and communities.
More on Gov's Awards

Forgotten Resource Studied for Sustainable Energy Crops

Team aqua ally won the competitionYou see acres and acres of it on most of your car trips. Grasses. Along rights-of-way and medians it grows along much of Illinois' 16,500 miles of state highways. These long, narrow green spaces are important for pedestrian and motorist safety as well as habitat for native insects, birds, and animals surrounded by cultivated fields. Taxpayers money is used to mow the grass from springtime into fall. A team of scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including researchers from ISTC, is helping the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to consider these lands for growing native grasses for renewable energy use. More on Energy Crops

Center Experts Help Lock in Innovations

Aqua Ally LogoTwice a year a group of U of I students lock themselves away for 24 hours. They don’t come out until they have made the world a better place. For this spring semester the “Extreme Entrepreneurial Lock-In” challenge theme or focus was “Sustainability in the Home”.  This event is part of the university’s Innovation Living-Learning Community (LLC) which gives students another stage to test their ideas for starting a business. More on Lock-in

Report Finds Evidence of Bacterial Resistance in Stream Sediment

bacteriaThe latest ISTC Research Report details recent research which demonstrates that the compound triclosan, a key active ingredient in many antibacterial products, produces resistance in environmental bacteria. Rapid urbanization in the U.S. during the 20th century has meant wastewater treatment plants today deal with unprecedented loads and complex mixtures of potential pollutants. More on bacterial resistance

Exploratory Study on Gasification of Pelletized Grassy Biomass

biomass gassification system used in this researchISTC has published a report in its Technical Report series (TR-054) for a project that it funded titled “Exploratory Study on Gasification of Pelletized Grassy Biomass” by Peter Ping Liu and Jerry Cloward of Eastern Illinois University.   The project studied the characteristics of grassy biomass (switchgrass) pellets in terms of their gasification behavior and identified realistic operation conditions for those grasses, either native or readily available in the State of Illinois. The study will help provide background information as Illinois embraces more and better uses of renewable biomass resources grown in the region.

6th Naturally Illinois Expo

Video stillThe Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) pulled out all the stops for this year’s 6th Naturally Illinois Expo which was held April 17 and 18. Because 2015 is ISTC’s 30th anniversary, we had an Open House as part of the Expo with approximately 20 exhibits here in our building showing many of our current research projects as well as one highlighting the history of ISTC.  There were roughly 500 attendees at ISTC over the two days. More on the Expo


IL Green Office Challenge logo The Illinois Green Office Challenge is program patterned after the Chicago Green Office Challenge that encourages friendly competition amongst office buildings to achieve energy and water conservation and waste reduction. It aims to make Illinois more livable, sustainable, and prosperous.

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 Researchers Participate in Alaska Cookstove Study

Varities of Common CookstovesIndoor air quality concerns will take ISTC researchers to Alaska as part of a U.S. EPA initiative to study the use of indoor cookstoves for cooking, heat and light. Different biomass fuel sources are traditional in different parts of the world and teams from six universities are assessing emissions through seasonal cycles. 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.

Go to ISTC News Digest

ISTC in the News

Upcoming ISTC Sustainability Events

Other Related Sustainability Events

Researcher Spotlight

    Video still


    Paul Francisco
    Research Engineer,
    Indoor Climate Research and Training

    Paul Francisco is a leading authority in the energy efficiency and air quality of residential living spaces. A mechanical engineer, Francisco is a proponent of building science principles, and a
    ’House as a System’ concept, that includes both energy and the indoor environment.This approach views a living space as an interactive
    ’envelope’ where comfort, safety, and health are determined by a complex interaction of design, mechanical systems, and human factors.

    As a research scientist, Francisco has worked in the private sector and academia. As an educator he has developed nationally accredited curricula for Energy Auditor and Quality Control Inspector. He is current chair of ASHRAE’ s Environmental Health Committee and has held leadership positions on ASHRAE committees related to residential energy and indoor environmental quality.

    ASHRAE has honored Francisco with its Distinguished, and Exceptional Service Awards. He is also a member of the
    ad hoc Health and Safety Committee for DOE’ s low-income Weatherization Assistance Program.

Link to  ISTC Quarterly Newsletter

The ISTC Quarterly newsletter keeps you up-to-date with information, research, and technical assistance developments that advance the responsible management of our natural resources and a healthy environment. Subscribe


Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

One Hazelwood Dr.
Champaign, IL 61820

© 2015 University of Illinois Board of Trustees. All rights reserved.
For permissions information, contact the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.
ISTC Intranet