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Advanced biofuels show real promise for replacing some fossil fuels

URBANA, Ill. -- Biofuel and bioenergy systems are integral to scenarios for displacing fossil fuel use and producing negative emissions through carbon capture and storage. But the net greenhouse gas mitigation benefit of these systems has been controversial, due to concerns around carbon losses from changes in land use and foregone sequestration benefits from alternative land uses.

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Recovering phosphorus from corn ethanol production can help reduce groundwater pollution

URBANA, Ill. – Dried distiller’s grains with solubles (DDGS), a co-product from corn ethanol processing, is commonly used as feed for cattle, swine and poultry. However, DDGS contains more phosphorus than the animals need. The excess ends up in manure and drains into the watershed, promoting algae production and eventually contributing to large dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico.

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ACES researchers among 2019’s most influential scientists

URBANA, Ill. – Of the eight Illinois researchers recently recognized by the Web of Science group as Highly Cited Researchers, three are affiliated with the Department of Crop Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. They include Elizabeth (Lisa) Ainsworth, Stephen Long, and Donald Ort.

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Institute: Nitrogen reduction will take a revolution

A revolution in Midwestern agriculture has to happen to minimize the Gulf of Mexico’s hypoxic zone, according to the University of Illinois Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE).

It is a little-known fact that corn — a Midwestern staple crop — has a bearing on the Gulf of Mexico’s health. The link is nitrogen, a common agricultural fertilizer component. According to a team of Illinois researchers, each annual harvest removes just 60-70% of nitrogen from fields.

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Bioethicist First Levenick Resident Scholar in Sustainability Leadership

Founder and Director of Editing Nature Natalie Kofler is joining the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) as its first Stuart L. and Nancy J. Levenick Resident Scholar in Sustainability Leadership.

Read the full release at the iSEE website.

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IBRL earns LEED® silver certification

The sustainable design and construction of the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) has earned the facility a LEED® Silver certification from the U.S Green Building Council.

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Human waste an asset to economy, environment, study finds

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Human waste might be an unpleasant public health burden, but scientists at the University of Illinois see sanitation as a valuable facet of global ecosystems and an overlooked source of nutrients, organic material and water. Their research is reported in the journal Nature Sustainability.

Read more from the Illinois News Bureau

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A warming Midwest increases likelihood that farmers will need to irrigate

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — If current climate and crop-improvement trends continue into the future, Midwestern corn growers who today rely on rainfall to water their crops will need to irrigate their fields, a new study finds. This could draw down aquifers, disrupt streams and rivers, and set up conflicts between agricultural and other human and ecological needs for water, scientists say.

Read more from the Illinois News Bureau.

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Long elected to National Academy of Sciences

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Stephen P. Long, a professor of crop sciences and plant biology at the University of Illinois, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest professional honors a scientist can receive. He is one of 100 new members and 25 foreign associates recognized for “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”

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Prestigious NSF CAREER award goes to Illinois researcher to study long-term sustainability in the US Corn Belt

URBANA, Ill. – The U.S. Corn Belt produces about a third of the world’s corn and soybean supply, but with further intensification and a changing climate, it’s not clear whether the Corn Belt can remain environmentally sustainable over the long term. With a new five-year project, funded by the National Science Foundation’s flagship CAREER award, Illinois scientist Kaiyu Guan aims to find out.

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