Biological cleanup discovered for certain ‘forever chemicals’

Read the full story from the University of California-Riverside.

Chemical and environmental engineering scientists have identified two species of bacteria found in soil that break down a class of stubborn ‘forever chemicals’– per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, that have contaminated groundwater below industrial and military sites throughout the nation. The discovery gives hope for low-cost biological cleanup of these pollutants.

New method for making ammonia could take a bite out of global energy use

Read the full story from Stanford University.

A triphasic cocktail of water, nitrogen gas, and a solid catalyst sprayed through a low-tech, garden variety, gas-powered sprayer yields ammonia at low energy and low cost.

New chemistry can extract virgin-grade materials from wind turbine blades in one process

Read the full story from Aarhaus University.

Researchers have developed a chemical process that can disassemble the epoxy composite of wind turbine blades and simultaneously extract intact glass fibers as well as one of the epoxy resin’s original building blocks in a high quality. The recovered materials could potentially be used in the production of new blades.

New study finds tree diversity increases carbon storage, soil fertility in forests

Read the full story from the University of Alberta.

Keeping tree diversity intact in Canada’s many forests over the long term can help increase carbon capture and mitigate climate change, according to a new University of Alberta study.

The study, published in Nature, is the first of its kind to show the sustained benefits of tree diversity on a large spatial scale, in terms of storing carbon and nitrogen in the soil. It reinforces the importance of biodiversity conservation in forests, says Xinli Chen, lead author on the paper and postdoctoral fellow in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences.


FloodVision™ is a technology from Climate Central that provides precise elevation measurements and photorealistic visualizations of potential future flooding. It can produce visually realistic images of potential flooding for buildings or scenes the FloodRover drives by, including for future sea levels, forecasted storm surges, or any combination, to any level of feet and inches. And each visualization is backed by leading peer-reviewed science.

The tool presents the opportunity to rapidly scale the collection of essential structural elevation data for understanding flood risk and the production of science-backed, compelling visualizations for the risk communication necessary for driving widespread awareness, concern, and action on climate change and coastal resiliency. 

MnTAP develops Aqueous Cleaning Toolkit

In 2022, Minnesota became the first state to ban the use of Trichloroethylene (TCE) for all businesses requiring an air permit. Known as a powerhouse cleaning agent, TCE is also used in other industrial processes and as an ingredient in some consumer products—but its hazards are now well recognized.

MnTAP, in partnership with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and funded with a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 (U.S. EPA R5), launched the TCE Alternatives Project to help Minnesota businesses make the switch from TCE to effective, safer alternatives.

During the project, the team discovered that businesses needed a third-party perspective on mitigating the risks associated with cleaning solvents and degreasers, and clear information about alternatives. The toolkit is organized into three themed areas, each presented in several formats, including an E-guide, slideshow, video, and infographic.

Explore the toolkit.

Solar for dryland soil health

Read the full story at pv magazine.

Biocrusts are microbe-rich deposits in soil that are crucial to ecosystem sustainability in arid environments. Researchers are restoring biocrusts with the help of shade from solar.

Current State of Two Aquifer Systems in Chicago’s Southwest Suburbs and Risks to Remaining Water Supply

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With access to Lake Michigan, a temperate climate, and groundwater scattered throughout, it is hard to consider fresh water a limited resource in Illinois, yet two major aquifers in northeast Illinois are encountering issues that will threaten their sustainability. Communities, industries, and water specialists in Will, Kendall, and Grundy Counties have formed a coalition, the Southwest Water Planning Group (SWPG), and contracted with the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) to understand current and future risk to their water supply.

In the southwestern suburbs of Chicago, the two aquifers used to meet water supply demands are the shallow aquifer and the deep sandstone aquifer. Shallow wells are considerably less expensive to drill than sandstone wells. However, the shallow aquifer is not able to provide the quantities of water needed throughout Will County and is absent over large portions of the county. Although the deep sandstone aquifer is present throughout Will County, its water levels are lower now than ever before.

Q&A: Food waste reduction strategies and tips from industry professionals

Read the full story at Waste360.

Continuing our Q&A’s with members of the Federal Food Loss and Waste Reduction Initiatives panel at WasteExpo, Waste360 was able to reach out and ask some questions to Jean Buzby and Priya Kadam.

Buzby works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a USDA Food Loss and Waste Liaison and Kadam is a Senior Advisor for Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

US laboratory claims aluminum recycling innovation

Read the full story at Recycling Today.

The Department of Energy (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, says it has worked with Canada-based automotive components maker Magna International on a new manufacturing process through which aluminum scrap can be collected and “transformed directly into new vehicle parts using an innovative process being developed by the automotive industry, in particular for electric vehicles [EVs].”

The patented Shear Assisted Processing and Extrusion (ShAPE) process collects factory-generated scrap trimmings from automotive and supplier plants and transforms it directly into suitable material for new vehicle parts, the DOE says. The technology now is being scaled to make lightweight aluminum parts for EVs.