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ISTC News Highlights

Register Now for Oct. 27 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award

Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award

Illinois Governor's Sustainability AwardRegistration is now open for the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award Ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. Harry Moser, founder and and president of the Reshoring Initiative, will deliver the keynote address at the luncheon. Other speakers include Kyle Kietzmann, president and COO of Bell Racing USA, and Kate Zerrenner, climate and energy project manager for the Environmental Defense Fund. The event provides an excellent networking opportunity for Illinois businesses leaders as some of their peers are recognized with one of the world's first awards for sustainable development. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Registration and Event Information

Water Expertise at U of I Gathered into New Information Hub

Water at Illinois logoThe Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) launched a new addition to their website on July 30 titled "Water at Illinois" to serve as an information hub for all the water-related research expertise available at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This access point will also serve as a repository for opportunities in the water field, including grants, educational areas, and jobs. ISTC Director Kevin O’Brien is chairman of iSEE’s Water Council which helps to coordinate the Illinois Water Scholars group, including researchers at ISTC, who are working across a number of disciplines on water issues. More on Water at Illinois

U of I Awarded Second Santucci Greenovation Award for Reducing Solid Waste

image of Santucci Greenovation AwardISTC and the University of Illinois received their second Greenovation Award July 28 from Kimberly-Clark Corporation for their leading roles in supporting the recycling of nitrile gloves in laboratories, kitchens and housing facilities on campus. The local recycling program originated with engineers at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) and was quickly taken up by the University's Housing, as well as Facilities and Services Departments. Bart Bartels, technical assistance engineer at ISTC, is assisting the university with its program.
More on Award

Sustainable Solutions for the Power and Industrial Sector

image for Carbon Management Technology ConferenceISTC Director Kevin O’Brien will be chairing a new session titled "Sustainable Solutions for the Power and Industrial Sector" at the upcoming Carbon Management Technology Conference which will take place November 17 – 19 in Sugar Land, Texas. The focus of this session is to "discuss products, services, and approaches that are being examined which are part of or in addition to Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage activities that impact the overall management of carbon at power generation and industrial facilities". Abstracts for this session can be submitted through August 15. To submit an abstract, please visit
More on the conference

Nano-Carbo-Scavengers Studied for Superior Oil Spill Recovery

oil slick in Timor SeaISTC is part of a multidisciplinary team awarded a research seed grant from the University's Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) to develop carbon nano particles as a more environmentally friendly technique for cleaning oil spills.
More on Nano-Carbo-Scavengers

Cook County Recycling Helps Keep America Beautiful

forest preserves expand recycling capabilitiesA zero waste audit by ISTC for the Forest Preserves of Cook County led to an expansion of the parks' recycling capabilities, thanks to a grant from the Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful (KAB) Recycling Bin Grant Program. One of the recommendations from the waste audit was to apply for the KAB grant. The new recycling bins are now used at large special events at the preserve attracting up to 4,000 visitors. More on the Cook County Forest Preserves recycling efforts

Bioenergy Investments Bode Well for Green Economic Growth

leadership boosts campus recycling recordThere is increasing interest in biofuels not only to lessen dependency on foreign oil but also to promote sustainable fuels and the growth of a greener economy. ISTC's researchers currently are exploring greener alternatives for fuels used in the automotive and aviation fields. Progress is being made by them and others in using waste biomass, hard-to-recycle plastics, and other wastes for fuels. The NY Times recently reported that United Airlines is investing $30 million in Fulcrum Bioenergy to produce sustainable aviation biofuels


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.

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

Governor's Award Trophy The 2015 awards ceremony and technical symposium will take place on October 27, 2015 in Chicago. More on Gov's Awards

IL Green Office Challenge logo The winners of the 2014-15 Illinois Green Office Challenge were announced on June 11 in Champaign. The U.S. Army Corps Construction Engineering Research Laboratories were the champions of the challenge which empowers Illinois workplaces to reduce waste and save energy and water.
More on the competition winners

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 is encouraging people, businesses, organizations and others to help reduce water consumption in Illinois. It has a goal of saving one billion gallons as part of its One Billion Gallon Water Challenge efforts.

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

button links to the 2014 annual report at screen resolution
button links to the thirtieth anniversary information page

ISTC in the News

Upcoming ISTC Sustainability Events

Other Related Sustainability Events

Researcher Spotlight

    Junhua Jiang


    Junhua Jiang
    Senior Research Engineer

    Dr. Junhua Jiang is a Senior Research Engineer in ISTC's Applied Research on Industrial Environmental Systems Program. Jiang conducts cutting-edge research and develops interdisciplinary research programs in a range of areas, including electrochemical energy storage, nanostructured materials, electrochemical sensors, waste utilization, water treatment and purification, and green chemical processes. He joined ISTC in 2011.

    Jiang graduated from China's Wuhan University in 1997 with a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry. He conducted research as a postdoctoral fellow in London at Imperial College and in China at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

    Prior to joining ISTC, Jiang worked as a staff scientist for fuel cell company NuVant Systems, and a research scientist and manager at the University of North Dakota's Energy and Environmental Research Center. In these roles, he conducted innovative research on fuel cell and hydrogen technology, electrolytic processes of renewable ammonia, nanomaterials, and more.

    Jiang's research interests include energy-conversion technology, fuel cells and hydrogen technology, batteries and supercapacitors, green-chemistry processes for renewable fuels and chemicals, advanced materials, electrochemical treatment, water purification and desalination, and other areas of sustainable energy. He is currently developing biochar supercapacitors for energy storage and water purification; advanced carbon materials from renewable and waste feedstocks; and nanostructured materials and components from ionic liquids.

    He is also working on electrochemical detection techniques for water contaminants. Jiang holds five issued and pending patents, has authored or presented more than 100 highly-cited peer-reviewed articles and conference papers, and has obtained more than $2.5 million in research grant funds.

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