UofL Conn Center’s Wood to Energy Project

The University of Louisville Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research has formed a partnership with a South Carolina company to accelerate commercialization of a coal-like product made from wood and biomass materials.

Greenville, S.C.-based Integro Earth Fuels Inc. is the developer of NuCoal, a product made from sustainable wood waste that can be burned with or in place of coal by heat and power generators. The Conn Center, part of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, will establish research and development and pilot-scale production facilities to study the torrefaction and densification of wood and agricultural biomass sources.

Torrefaction is “roasting” wood to remove moisture and certain volatile compounds, leaving a bio-coal product. Densification of torrefied material is a step in making the product easier to make, store and ship.

“Conn Center’s expertise is crucial in making this technology work at any scale,” said Conn Center director Mahendra Sunkara. “The use of this product as a substitute for coal can help extend the life of  Kentucky’s coal-fired power plants while significantly reducing pollutant and carbon emissions.”

Read the article by John R. Karman in UofL Today.

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Tallying the Cost of Stormwater Pollution

In these times of drought, following regulations to keep our drinking water safe is more important than ever. Storm water management has a long history worth reviewing.

In the 1980s, the EPA conducted a Nationwide Urban Runoff Program study to determine the extent to which urban runoff contributed to water quality problems and to evaluate practices for controlling urban runoff. The NURP study recommended that urban stormwater runoff be added to the list of environmental issues which require controls to protect water quality.

Read the article in GreenBiz – P2 Impact

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Harness the Power of Wastewater

Water scarcity has become an economic issue, threatening industries as well as regions and ways of life. As such, corporate leaders are beginning to realize they need to get involved in finding solutions.

“We need to get the water industry to be known for its innovation rather than its conservatism,” said Water Smart Software CEO Robin Gilthorpe.

His words emerged as the consensus at the Economic Power of Water conference hosted by the Wharton School of Business and GE Power & Water last week in San Francisco. Corporate, government and non-profit leaders gathered there to discuss the world’s pressing water problem.

As the global demand for water is encroaching on its supply — the U.N. reports that 1.2 billion people live in an area of physical water scarcity — participants spoke about the need to improve efficiency in corporate water use, innovate around water reuse technology and enhance water education and outreach.

Read the article in GreenBiz

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New Clean Water Rule

Clean-Water-Rule-pictureClean Water Rule Protects Streams and Wetlands Critical to Public Health, Communities and the Economy

In an historic step for the protection of clean water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army finalized the Clean Water Rule on May 27, 2015 to clearly protect from pollution and degradation the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources.

Protection for about 60 percent of the nation’s streams and millions of acres of wetlands has been confusing and complex as  the result of Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006. The Clean Water Rule protects streams and wetlands that are scientifically shown to have the greatest impact on downstream water quality.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are ensuring that waters protected under the Clean Water Act are more precisely defined, more predictable, easier for businesses and industry to understand, and consistent with the law and the latest science.

Learn more about this important new Rule at the EPA’s website and how it can help protect our streams and wetlands.

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Strength Through Innovation Workshop – June 16th


Join us for a valuable workshop on June 16, 2015!
Strength Through Innovation: Economy, Energy and Environment Strategies for Kentucky Industries”

To be competitive in today’s global marketplace, businesses must look at their processes critically to ensure that they are efficient, innovative and sustainable.  This workshop will focus on helping manufacturers advance efforts to use lean, clean and energy efficient practices to conserve energy, reduce environmental impacts, preserve jobs and enhance overall competitiveness.

What You Will Learn
• Creating efficient processes through LEAN- a business model that identifies non-value added activities (waste) while focusing on rapid, continual improvement in cost, quality, service, and delivery
• Increasing your bottom line and reducing waste through efficiency
• Integrating LEAN, energy and environmental efforts into your operations
• Successful sustainability programs
• Technical assistance resources and recognition opportunities

Who Should Attend?
• Facility Engineers
• Plant Managers
• Operations Managers
• Energy Managers
• Environmental Health & Safety Managers

To promote lean, clean and sustainable business practices in Kentucky, one No-Cost facility assessment will be awarded to a qualified attendee of this workshop.  See the required qualifications to apply for the assessment award on the workshop registration page.

Tuesday –  June. 16, 2015 –  9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. EDT

DEP Training Center 300 Fair Oaks Lane Frankfort, KY 40601

Registration: 8:30-9:00 a.m. EDT

Fees:  $15 per person General  Admission  – $10 per person KY EXCEL members
Workshop cost includes light continental breakfast and lunch.

Register Today! 

Register Online  – Registration deadline:  June 11

Do you have questions or comments?  E-mail us at or call  800-926-8111.

The Workshop is sponsored by: Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center, Advantage Kentucky Alliance and the Kentucky Division of Compliance Assistance. 

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