Before it was made into holiday dresses, the silky black fabric used in a new capsule collection from Zara started life as carbon emissions. At a steel mill in China, a startup called LanzaTech uses microbes to turn the factory’s captured emissions into ethanol, something that would usually be made from fossil fuels. The ethanol is then processed into monoethylene glycol, one of the components used to make polyester.
Continuing the momentum from the 2020 Midwest Climate Summit Think Tank Series, the 2022 Summit provides an opportunity to elevate our collective work and the work of individual organizations. The Summit will be a high-profile virtual event that serves as the official launch of the Midwest Climate Collaborative, highlighting the critical role of the Midwest in mitigating and adapting to climate change, as well as the deep pool of talent we have to collectively lead this work.
Gina McCarthy, White House National Climate Advisor
Aimee Witteman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Energy (DOE)
A severely corroded pipeline ruptured and spilled more than 300,000 gallons (1.1 million liters) of diesel fuel just outside New Orleans after the operator delayed needed repairs, according to federal records.
Most of the fuel drained into two artificial ponds called “borrow pits” and thousands of fish, birds and other animals were killed, state and local officials said Wednesday. The spill also contaminated soil, according to state and federal officials.
Determining the most sustainable packaging option for CPG products is rarely as clear cut as it might appear. Take yogurt cups, which are typically made from polypropylene (PP), which can be recycled, although many US curbside pickup services don’t yet take it. ‘Eco-friendly’ paperboard alternatives are available, but they come with a plastic lining, and will end up in the trash. So which is the better option?
One promising solution for cleaning up contaminated groundwater systems is phytoremediation. Phytoremediation techniques use living plants as a cost-effective, environmentally friendly approach for cleaning up contaminated soil and groundwater. Since the mid-1990s, plant systems have been used at several Superfund and private sites to contain and degrade contaminants. Phytoremediation of groundwater using trees is firmly established as a successful remediation technology for certain contaminants, particularly petroleum and chlorine-based products and solvents. Through a process called, phytodegradation, trees have been shown to degrade dissolvable contaminants in the root system and in the plant. For example, trees can break down contaminants through enzymes within the plant. Pollutants are degraded through oxidization and turned into carbon dioxide.
However, one limitation is that tree roots cannot always reach the depth where the contaminated aquifer is located. To find a solution to this issue, EPA researchers conducted a pilot scale study to test a system for extracting contaminated water from a deep aquifer and used drip irrigation on contained sets of trees to determine if and to what extent the trees can treat the deep aquifer contaminated water.
How did people create Cahokia, an ancient American Indian metropolis near present-day St. Louis? And why did they abandon it? Archaeologists are piecing together the answers—but Cahokia’s story isn’t finished yet. Hear how an Osage anthropologist is protecting the remaining burial mounds and sacred shrines so the descendants of Cahokia’s founders can keep its legacy alive.