Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-2021

Working together, our research, technical assistance, and outreach programs are well-positioned to address current and future issues related to water, waste, energy, and pollution prevention.

Research Themes

Specific strategic plan documents were developed for a number of initiatives (bold) within the four major research themes.


Investigating biofuels and other renewable fuels, carbon capture, and wastewater to energy systems. ISTC is active in three major approaches for biological waste processing for energy - anaerobic digestion, hydrothermal liquefaction, and hydrothermal gasification.


Encompassing ISTC’s Contaminant Research & Engagement Program, this theme focuses on investigating the occurrence, fate and transport, and mitigation of a wide range of contaminants in the environment (water, air, soil/land), with a particular focus on emerging contaminants. In addition, the program fosters actions to bring awareness concerning contaminants’ effects on human health and the environment. The program is a partnership with the Illinois State Water Survey.

Waste Utilization

Developing technologies for the cost-effective processing and recovery of materials for commercial-scale recycling. The Waste Utilization Program includes projects such as the Carbon Dioxide Utilization and Reduction (COOULR) Program, Biomass to High-Value Products, and the Solar Panel End-of-life Management Initiative.

Water Use & Reuse

Focusing on a variety of water use and reuse topics, this program demonstrates novel processes for water and wastewater reuse; assists businesses and industries with conservation and water supply challenges; develops treatment technologies for priority pollutants and other contaminants; and examines and promotes sustainable water infrastructure.

Technical Assistance Initiatives

The Technical Assistance Program (TAP) is focusing on:

  • expanding its water efficiency and testing services,
  • growing the Zero Waste Program, and
  • working with organizations on resilient systems.

The program is also concentrating on several target groups. The first group is food and beverage manufacturers in order to help them reduce pollutants in wastewater, improve manufacturing processes, and eliminate waste.

Major Services

  • Comprehensive Assessments
  • Compliance Assistance Assessments
  • General Pollution Prevention (P2)
  • Greening the Supply Chain
  • ISO 14000 Audits
  • Sustainability Strategic Plan Development
  • Water Efficiency and Conservation
  • Water Testing and Auditing
  • Zero Waste

Key Target Groups for the Next Two Years

  • Food Manufacturing
  • Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries
  • Institutions of Higher Education
  • Wastewater Treatment Plants
  • Companies with Supply Chain Sustainability Initiatives
  • State Owned Facilities - Institutional Water Treatment Program