Listen to Coastal Hazards Specialist Vidya Balasubramanyam on the Teach Me About the Great Lakes podcast

On the July 19 episode of the Teach Me About the Great Lakes podcast, hosts Stuart Carlton and Carolyn Foley spoke with ISTC Coastal Hazards Specialist Vidya Balasubramanyam about lake level change and her work with municipalities to adapt to it. Tune in for an all-too-rare dose of optimism and a particular fact about donuts that, while true, we hadn’t considered before.

Springfield to become home of world’s largest carbon capture program

Read the full story from WICS.

Springfield is set to become the home of the world’s largest carbon capture research program.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the construction phase of the $67 million research project at City Water, Light, & Power (CWLP) to study how to decrease carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

“You could really see a situation where people from across the globe are going to be coming to Springfield to see our progress with this particular project,” Kevin O’Brien said.

O’Brien is Director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Article on microplastic contamination in karst groundwater systems co-authored by ISTC researchers among journal’s most cited

The University of Illinois-led study included researchers from the Prairie Research Institute. Pictured, from left: Walton R. Kelly, John Scott, Nancy Holm, Wei Zheng and lead author Samuel V. Panno.  Photo by Fred Zwicky
The University of Illinois-led study included researchers from the Prairie Research Institute. Pictured, from left: Walton R. Kelly, John Scott, Nancy Holm, Wei Zheng and lead author Samuel V. Panno. Photo by Fred Zwicky

An article co-authored by ISTC’s John Scott, Wei Zheng, and Nancy Holm is among the top cited research in Groundwater.

Microplastic Contamination in Karst Groundwater Systems” was a collaborative effort of researchers from ISTC, ISWS, and ISGS. Published in 2019, it was the first to report microplastics in fractured limestone aquifers – a groundwater source that accounts for 25 percent of the global drinking water supply.

Read more about the research from the University of Illinois News Bureau.

 

Rural-urban collaboration yields alternative solutions to improve state water quality

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has published a story about their water quality projects in Fulton County. ISTC researcher Wei Zheng is one of the researchers involved in this collaborative effort.

From the article:

In addition to deploying new nutrient recovery technology, the MWRD voluntarily established a program at its Fulton County site to foster collaboration with the agricultural sector to develop and expedite nutrient reduction practices in non-point source areas.

The 13,500-acre property, located in Fulton County between Canton and Cuba, Illinois, was originally purchased in 1970 to restore strip-mined land and approximately 4,000 acres were converted to productive farmland. Years later it became the ideal site to use some of the farm fields to develop and test best management practices to reduce non-point source nutrients.

Since 2015, research and demonstration projects have been established at the site in collaboration with many partners such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Crop Science Department, UIUC Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Illinois Central College, Ecosystem Exchange, IFB, and Fulton County Farm Bureau. The projects established include inter-seeded cover cropping, riparian grass buffer, denitrifying bioreactors, runoff irrigation, subirrigation, drainage water managements, designer biochar, and watershed-scale nutrient reduction demonstration.

Read more about Dr. Zheng’s research on the ISTC website.

CWLP could become world’s largest carbon capture research station

The Springfield Journal- Register recently ran a story about ISTC’s carbon capture project at City Water, Power, and Light’s Dallman unit 4.

The project was also highlighted by Public Power Magazine, a publication of the American Public Power Association.

The DOE-funded project is currently in the design phase. The phase three proposal, which will fund construction, is due in January. If DOE selects ISTC’s Phase Three proposal, construction would probably begin next May or June, kicking off the five-year project.