Gov. Pritzker asked to delay sale of Damen Silos

Read the full story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

A Southwest Side economic development organization, joined by seven other groups, asked Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday to delay the sale of the Damen Silos along the Chicago River to allow for public meetings before determining the fate of the 23 acres of industrial land.

Pritzker’s administration announced a plan last month to sell the property to the owner of an asphalt plant in McKinley Park that has been the target of numerous odor and nuisance complaints from its neighbors. 

MAT Asphalt co-owner Michael Tadin Jr. and his family were the high bidders for the long-dormant silos near 29th and Damen, offering $6.5 million. 

With seven industrial corridors, the Southwest Side has been at the center of a number of fights between residents and businesses over polluting industry.

Atmospheric water harvesting: can we get water out of thin air?

David Warsinger created this map with LEGO® bricks, showing which areas of the world require more energy to extract fresh water from the atmosphere. While the yellows and oranges of arid deserts may make these technologies seem less than ideal, Warsinger sees great opportunities in the bluer regions (Amazon basin, Congo, Southeast Asia), where water quantity is not an issue, but water quality is. (Purdue University photo/Jared Pike)
David Warsinger created this map with LEGO® bricks, showing which areas of the world require more energy to extract fresh water from the atmosphere. While the yellows and oranges of arid deserts may make these technologies seem less than ideal, Warsinger sees great opportunities in the bluer regions (Amazon basin, Congo, Southeast Asia), where water quantity is not an issue, but water quality is. (Purdue University photo/Jared Pike)

Read the full story from Purdue University.

Earth’s atmosphere holds six times more fresh water than all of its rivers combined. So is it possible to harvest that water, in areas where people have no other fresh water source? Purdue University researchers have crunched the numbers and have the data to show which atmospheric water harvesting methods work best in different regions of the world.

“Water in the atmosphere is widely available, and requires a lot less filtering than that of groundwater,” said David Warsinger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. “Some areas of the world don’t have a viable source of groundwater, and they’re not near enough to the sea to make desalination practical. For them, atmospheric water harvesting may make the most sense. But this is still very much an emerging technology.”

Maritime giants sign COP27 hydrogen commitment

Read the full story at Seatrade Maritime News.

Companies including Maersk, MAN ES and the Getting to Zero Coalition have pledged to kickstart green hydrogen and hydrogen-derived fuels for the maritime industry.

U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. National Science Foundation announce new internship program to support growth of geothermal energy workforce

“We are very excited to support emerging geothermal energy professionals alongside our partners at the National Science Foundation. Geothermal energy already provides enough electricity to power more than 2.7 million American homes, but this is just a small portion of its vast potential. Investing in the geothermal energy workforce will help unlock this resource and put new, clean, dispatchable electricity on the grid.”

Alejandro Moreno, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) have announced a new internship program to support the goals of DOE’s recently launched Enhanced Geothermal Shot. The new NSF-DOE collaboration is part of NSF’s INTERN program and will support 10 to 20 six-month research internships per year to work in the geothermal industry on projects that advance geothermal technologies. This is the first activity coordinated through the NSF-DOE Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2022, which aims to formalize the agencies’ longstanding partnership on scientific and engineering research to bolster national energy policy.

“Training diverse graduate students for careers in geothermal energy, whether in academia, industry, or government, will enable the United States to speed growth in clean energy technologies and support our research and industrial leadership.”

Dr. Susan Margulies, NSF Assistant Director for Engineering

The Enhanced Geothermal Shot aims to bring enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) to Americans nationwide and includes a goal of reducing the cost of EGS by 90% by 2035. It is part of DOE’s Energy Earthshots Initiative to help break down the biggest remaining scientific and technical barriers to tackling the climate crisis. Energy Earthshots support the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while creating jobs and growing the economy. EGS holds huge promise as a firm, flexible source of electricity, as well as heating and cooling, but research and innovation to drive down costs and realize this potential will require significant growth in the geothermal energy workforce.

Established in 2017, the NSF INTERN program (formally known as Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students) provides over 250 graduate students per year with six-month research internships where they can acquire core professional competencies and skills. The NSF INTERN program encourages the participation of graduate students from groups that are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

More information about the Geothermal INTERN opportunity is available on NSF’s website.

EPA promises recycling infrastructure funds, new reports coming soon

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

During the National Recycling Congress, the U.S. EPA’s Nena Shaw said infrastructure grant funding is almost ready and previewed work on batteries, recycling data collection and plastic.

The next frontier in e-commerce packaging: reusable bags and boxes

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Online ordering spiked during the pandemic — and so did the waste it creates. As Cyber Monday approaches, startups such as Returnity and Trashless are developing ways to offer an alternative.

Reporting tool helps food industry track Scope 3 emissions

Read the full story at Environment + Energy Leader.

A new reporting tool will help the food industry measure and report on their Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions produced from the agricultural supply chain.

The Scope 3 emissions reporting feature from research company HowGood pulls data from its software-as-a-service platform that has impact analysis on more than 33,000 ingredients from across eight ESG metrics. HowGood says it will help consumer packaged goods brands and food service companies meet the increasing demands of ESG reporting.

Delta tests drag reduction technology to advance fuel efficiency

Read the full story at Environment + Energy Leader.

Delta is testing drag-reduction technology by Aero Design Labs on its 737-800 and 737-900 fleets. By reducing drag, aircraft are more aerodynamic and use less fuel while in flight.

The companies’ memorandum of understanding includes testing and FAA certification of the technology for Delta’s 737-800 aircraft starting in the first quarter of 2023, followed by the B737-900 fleet in the second half of the same year. Delta will have the option to purchase Aero Design Lab ADRS kits upon certification to outfit most of its more than 200 aircraft in the two fleets. 

U.S. Department of Energy recognizes Better Plants partner Waupaca Foundry, Inc. for energy efficiency leadership

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently recognized Better Buildings, Better Plants partner Waupaca Foundry, Inc. for energy efficiency advances made in its Waupaca, Wisconsin facilities. DOE staff toured Waupaca’s Plant 1 to see firsthand examples of the efficiency innovations made throughout its portfolio.

As the world’s largest iron foundry, Waupaca melts up to 9,500 tons of iron per day. The company committed six facilities across the U.S. as an inaugural Better Plants partner and has reduced energy intensity by more than 20% to date. Since joining Better Plants, Waupaca’s commitment has expanded to include decarbonization through participation in DOE’s Low Carbon Pilot and Better Climate Challenge.

Waupaca received a 2022 Better Plants Better Project Award for upgrading and optimizing the compressed air system at Plant 1, increasing the system’s energy efficiency by 13.5% and reducing annual energy usage by 18,000 MMBtu and annual water usage by 13 million gallons.

At Plant 2/3, the company upgraded and expanded the waste heat recovery system by installing a new control system, upgrading piping, adding three new air units, incorporating new controls and heat recovery technologies, and commissioning the new system and additional air units to ensure all operational requirements were met. The improvements increased the amount of waste heat recovered at Plant 2/3 by 42% and informed Waupaca’s implementation of waste heat recovery upgrades at Plant 1.

The combined savings at Plants 1 and 2/3 reduced Waupaca’s natural gas usage by 1,200,000 therms per year, equivalent to $540,000 in annual savings and an annual reduction of 72,000 tons of CO2. Waupaca shared its process and results in a Better Plants Showcase Project so that other organizations may learn from its success.

Better Plants is part of the Better Buildings Initiative, through which DOE partners with public and private sector organizations to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings more efficient, thereby saving energy and money while creating jobs. To date, more than 900 Better Buildings partners have shared their innovative approaches and strategies for adopting energy efficient technologies. Discover more than 3,000 of these solutions in the Better Buildings Solution Center.

“It just keeps coming:” Piles of trash continue to plague Houston’s bayous

Read the full story from Houston Public Media.

When trash gets in the waterways, it can worsen water quality, harm plants and wildlife, and create health issues.