Illinois Sustainable Technology Center - University of Illinois

Coal Mining Studied for Improved Sustainability

Picture of coalResearchers at ISTC have successfully demonstrated a scaled-up process for dewatering coal mining slurry, showing significant potential for reducing the ecological impact of mining. The work builds on several years of study by Nandakishore Rajagopalan, associate director at ISTC, and ISTC colleagues Hafiz Salih and Vinod Patel on the potential of forward osmosis as an alternative to slurry ponds for dealing with tailings from coal mining. MORE...

Three New Patents Promote Multiple Green Industry Benefits

Aquapod Image
ISTC researchers Kishore Rajagopalan, Vinod Patel and B.K. Sharma were recently awarded patents for inventing more sustainable industrial processes. One process reveals a new method for using a polymer to improve forward osmosis in which both the polymer and the solvent medium can be recycled in the system. Patents also outline the production of renewable industrial lubricants from vegetable oils. Read more.

ISTC Initiatives

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.


Illinois Organizations Honored for Achievements in Environmental Protection and Sustainability

Governor's Award TrophyTwenty-four Illinois companies and organizations were honored on Oct. 23, 2014, for their significant achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving the economy. The Governor’s Sustainability Awards were presented by ISTC during a ceremony in Chicago. In addition, twelve organizations received honorable mention awards and eight colleges were recognized for their achievements through the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact Awards Program. MORE...


Indoor Climate Research & Training's Low-cost Radon Reduction Pilot Study

House with attached garage The Indoor Climate Research and Training program is conducting a pilot study on radon reduction through low-cost measures. For more information regarding the study, please follow the link to the ICRT website.


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 (link to Challenge page) efforts. In the first phase of a three-phase program, IGEN co-hosted a webinar(put link to webinar here) with ISTC to educate interested colleges on the basics of water audits. more...


PCBs and Their Impact on IllinoisThe videos are now available of the presentations from the one-day workshop "PCBs and Their Impact in Illinois" which was held on Sept. 17, 2014, in Chicago. The workshop, organized by ISTC, brought together expert perspectives representing industry, law, public health, and environmental science, in a public forum on best practices and trends in the management of PCBs. For more about the PCB workshop...


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. Read more.


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