"Environment" research area

Listening Sessions

April 14, 2021 - Recycling and Reuse of Critical Minerals and Metals

This Listening Session explored the space of “critical minerals and precious metals recovery and reuse” by hearing from industry experts and UMN researchers actively working on innovative technology and remediation solutions. Participants from organizations and institutions working in the critical minerals and precious metals recycling and reuse space were welcomed to address environmental contamination issues and develop econimically and sustainably viable solutions. 

Recycling and Reuse of Minerals and Metals

March 3, 2021 - Remediation of Environmental Plastics 

A dynamic and diverse group of experts offered comments on an array of topics ranging from natural degradation of plastics in the environment to sustainable polymers to enzymatic degradation of plastics. The speakers represented both industry and academic research perpectives, but all presentations held a central theme of 'how can we do better at designing and formulating plastics that are more biodegradable or more easily deconstucted and reused in various ways. The event drew over 100 participants and nearly half remained to participate in breakout discussions about the biggest challenges and how to solve them.

Remediation of Environmental Plastics

November 18, 2020 - Mixed Feedstock Anaerobic Digestion 

MnDRIVE Environment hosted a group of about 50 to hear three unique perspectives from across the state on the topic of mixed feedstock anaerobic digestion. The invited speakers included Tim Farnan (MN Pollution Control Agency), Leigh Behrens (Ramsey/Washington County Recycling & Energy Team), and Tracy Hodel (St. Cloud Public Utilities Director). The audience got to hear a range of comments and perspectives that covered successes from St. Cloud's Wastewater Treatment facility to the regulatory and governence side of AD at the state agency level to the ongoing and future plans of the R&E Team to spin up and operate a new anaerobic digestion system.

Invited speaker comments were followed by small breakout group discussions, facilited by UMN Faculty members, which lead to a number of intriguing discussions and possible research questions for future investigation.

Mixed Feedstock Anaerobic Digestion

October 14, 2020 - Pathogens and Emerging Contaminants in Drinking Water 

In partnership with the Minnesota Trade Office, MnDRIVE hosted a conversation that explored, educated, and discussed aspects of drinking water contamination. Across the United States and within Minnesota, water quality has increasingly been thrust into the public spotlight. Whether this is due to runoff of agricultural fertilizers, outdated water infrastructure, irresponsible dumping, or other contaminant sources, the levels of regulated contaminants and the appearance of emerging contaminants require innovative remediation technology and solutions.

Join our invited experts from the MN Department of Health and the City of Minneapolis address these and other important questions. Also, feel free to review summary questions, challenges, and opportunities that were discussed in breakout sessions following the presentations. For additional information or inquiries related to these topics or the future Learning Sessions, please contact Jeff Standish.

Pathogens and Emerging Contaminants in Drinking Water