12 Orange “Acts Of Green”

April 20, 2015

On April 22nd, we celebrate the 45th Earth Day. Through research and education, Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science is contributing to the preservation of our planet in a number of local and far-reaching ways. Here are 12 of our top acts of green:

Air & Water Quality

Course in China Teaches Green Building Systems
SU students joined with Nanjing University to complete a green building systems course emphasizing the importance of optimized building design.

Impact of EPA Clean Carbon Plan on Environment and Human Health
Professor Charles Driscoll, and an interdisciplinary team of scientists, analyzed how strong EPA carbon standards will improve air quality, public health, and the environment.

Professor Supports UN Negotiations on Global Mercury Contamination
Professor Svetoslava Todorova serves as a science observer for the UN-mandated Intergovernmental Negotiations Committee on Mercury, which has been instrumental in the development of a global mercury treaty known as the Minamata Convention.

Determining Safe Levels of Air Pollution to Fight Acid Rain
Professor Charles Driscoll establishes a threshold, or “critical load,” for air pollution. Below that level, air pollution does no measurable harm to the environment.

Energy Conservation

Professor Developing Localized Heating System for Energy Savings in Offices
Professor H. Ezzat Khalifa and partners are creating an ARPA-E funded, near-range micro-environmental control system that could save more than 15 percent of the energy provided for heating and cooling office buildings.

Energy Efficiency Workshop in India Trains Future Engineers
Rapid economic growth in India has led to a spike in energy consumption. Professor Suresh Santanam and students from the Syracuse University Industrial Assessment Center taught an energy efficiency workshop at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar.

Building Air Filters that Improve Energy Efficiency
Professor Jensen Zhang is developing a single filter that removes particles such as dust and pollen and absorbs gaseous pollutants like harmful formaldehyde, achieving an energy savings of ~10 percent.

Student Project Results in $25K Annual Savings for University
Four engineering students helped reduce Maxwell Hall’s overall energy usage, pollution, and cost of heating—creating an estimated savings of more than 525,000 pounds of steam.

Environmental Sources

Creating Solvents, Plastics, & Polymers with Biomass—Not Petroleum
Crude oil is used to synthesize reactive chemical intermediates that are used in production of solvents, plastics, and polymers. Professor Jesse Bond is exploring how these same items can be made less expensively with biomass.

Recycling Nuclear Waste—Creating A More Sustainable Nuclear Option
By extracting and recycling valuable components from nuclear waste, we could get more use out of it to power the 104 plants that supply ~20 percent of our electricity.

Environmental Infrastructure

Evaluating the Success of Restored Wetlands
Professor David Chandler measures the ecological, social, and economic impacts of restored wetlands. He hopes to develop a framework for assessment that could be applied to other areas.

Green Roof on OnCenter a Living Lab for Green Infrastructure Research
Professor Cliff Davidson works on an installation that allows water to leave the roof through transpiration, significantly reducing the amount of water that goes into the sewer system, reducing the amount of water that needs to be treated with harmful chemicals in the sewage treatment plant.