Coalition emerges to support farmers in effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay

As Pennsylvania renews efforts to clean the state's waterways and the Chesapeake Bay, Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is helping to craft a strategy in which farmers spearhead clean-water initiatives.

Agriculture has high standards for conservation, with roots in a culture of stewardship, and farmers are ready to lead and be the solution for clean water, according to Matthew Royer, director of the college's Agriculture and Environment Center.

Thomas Wood, Endowed Biotechnology Chair Professor of Chemical Engineering and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology

Wood receives $1.3M grant to study biofilm formation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Thomas Wood, Endowed Biotechnology Chair Professor of Chemical Engineering and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State, has been awarded a five-year, $1.3 million grant from Dow Microbial Control, a business group of The Dow Chemical Company, to study biofilm formation in natural energy fields.

Biofilms are a sticky coating of bacteria that adhere to solid surfaces. They are formed in the presence of water and are persistent within the human body, in oceans and streams and on natural surfaces moistened by water. They can also be present in fluid-carrying pipes—a matter that is problematic in the oil and gas industry. 

Odette Mina, a third-year Ph.D. student studying agricultural and biological engineering, downloads data onto her computer at a pond at Penn State’s Living Filter.

Teenage mutant ninja tadpoles?

Heather Gall sprays a few sprits of tick spray around her face and arms, pulls on her baby blue waterproof waders and adjusts the straps to fit her petite frame before wading knee-deep into a pond at one of Penn State's Living Filter spray fields.

Penn State SOLAR 2015 conference highlights advances, opportunities in solar

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Think solar power, and your thoughts may turn to sunny California or Florida.

But the impact of solar may be even greater in the mid-Atlantic region, where the power grid is dense and demand for electricity high -- and there’s still plenty of sun, said Penn State professor Jeffrey Brownson.

Brownson is conference chair for SOLAR 2015, the national solar conference of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). The conference, hosted this year by Penn State, is being held July 28-30 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.

Penn State launches Center for Sustainable Electric Power Systems

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Today’s power systems are going through a significant transition to move toward a more sustainable framework. This can be seen by the increasing integration of renewable resources, the growth of distributed generation, the burgeoning need for dispatchable grid storage and heightened levels of demand by companies around the world.

Both industry and government are eager to hear new insights and see the development of efficient tools to design and manage the progression to sustainable energy networks in the coming years.

Researchers study inexpensive process to clean water in developing nations

What would happen if a common tree had the potential to turn cloudy, contaminated water into clean, safe drinking water for millions in need? Penn State researchers are hoping to find out using the seeds of the Moringa oleifera tree.

Lack of potable water is a huge problem in many developing countries. According to UNICEF, 783 million people worldwide are without improved drinking water, and the World Health Organization estimates that lack of proper drinking water causes 1.6 million deaths each year from diarrheal and parasitic diseases.