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ISTC News Highlights

New CarbonSAFE Awards Target Mitigation of Industrially Sourced Carbon Emissions

clip art compilation of plants, vegetable oil, and chain sawNon-petroleum biobased lubricants are an increasingly important strategy for preventing pollution in environmentally sensitive workplaces, such as forest, agricultural, and marine applications. B.K. Sharma’s new book focuses on the promising area of eco-friendly lubricants made from vegetable oil. MORE

New CarbonSAFE Awards Target Mitigation of Industrially Sourced Carbon Emissions

far away view of a carbon sequestions rigISTC is a partner in two major CarbonSAFE projects awarded to the Illinois State Geological Survey by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop new technologies to mitigate industrially sourced carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. MORE

Widespread Groundwater Contamination Found in Southwestern Illinois

Geologist sampling water from a cave poolResearchers from ISTC, the Illinois Natural History Survey, and the Illinois State Water Survey detected prescription drug contamination in Illinois groundwater. Analysis of water samples from southwestern Illinois springs and cave streams was reported in the journal Science of the Total Environment. MORE

In Race to Capture Carbon Dioxide, Remember the Need to Use It

Kevin O'Brien in front of the ghgt-13 banner in the main hall of the auditorium in Lausanne, SwitzerlandThe capture and utilization of CO2 provides a unique opportunity to create jobs, build new markets, and Illinois is leading this charge, said ISTC Director Kevin O'Brien in a presentation Nov. 15 at the International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Technologies (GHGT-13) in Lausanne, Switzerland. MORE

Link to  ISTC Fall 2016 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

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.

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Researcher Spotlight

Photo of Susan Barta


Susan Barta
Analytical Chemist

Susan Barta is an analytical chemist who has worked at ISTC since 2012. Her research interests involve developing, improving, and expanding the analysis capabilities of the ISTC. Susan is currently evaluating and developing testing protocols to measure a wide range of algal toxins.

Since joining ISTC, Susan has worked on a variety of projects including compositional analysis of biomass, evaluation of nanomaterials for oil spill treatment, and characterization of produced waters from oil extraction. Susan’s laboratory skills have been used to support most of the ongoing research here at ISTC including efforts in desalination, waste to energy, emerging contaminants, and water treatment. She has extensive experience in sample preparations by microwave digestion and accelerated solvent extraction. In addition to standard wet chemical techniques, she is also well versed in instrumentation including ion chromatography, atomic absorption spectroscopy, inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry, UV-Vis spectroscopy, gas chromatography, and high performance liquid chromatography.

Prior to joining the ISTC Susan worked in research laboratories at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Penn State University, and the USDA Northeast Watershed Research Center in State College, PA. She has also worked as an environmental chemist at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene and at a consulting firm.

Susan earned a bachelor’s degree in oceanography at the University of Washington-Seattle, and a master’s degree in water resources management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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