ISTC News Highlights

‘Plastics don’t ever go away’—ISTC scientist John Scott studies impact of microplastics

disposable face masks

Plastic products permeate our environment and over time they break down. The microscopic size of particles, how long they last, and what is associated with them raise health concerns.


Solar-Powered Savings: Impacts of Net Zero Electricity at BEER NUTS

display of three classic Beer Nuts products: peanuts, cashews, and almonds

In fall of 2019, ISTC and their partners completed an Economy, Energy, and Environment (E3) assessment at BEER NUTS, a small, family-owned Illinois snack facility. At the company’s request, the assessment included the feasibility of on-site solar photovoltaics (PV).


Technical Assistance Program collaborates to connect surplus food with hunger relief agencies

infographic titled What Might Work in Illinois. Contact web@prairie.illinois.edu for more details.

The University of Illinois, Feeding Illinois, the Illinois Specialty Growers Association, and the Illinois Farm Bureau are collaborating to collect and collate information on the locations, types, and quantities of “surplus” specialty crops in Illinois, including potential acquisition costs. Through a producer survey, a series of focus groups, and implementation of pilots across the state the team looks to uncover the optimal mix of incentives and program interventions to overcome the current barriers to efficient flows of fresh food produced in Illinois, to Illinois residents, with as little waste as possible.


DOE funds new technologies in plastic recycling

all types of plastics are squished together in big square bales. several bales are stacked up.

ISTC is part of a national team to develop artificial intelligence technologies to sort non-recyclable plastics so they can be reused for fuels. The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded the team $2.5 million to complete the three-year project.

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