In the News


Scientists turn oily soil into fertile ground

Rice University scientists are cleaning soil contaminated by oil spills in a way that saves energy and reclaims the soil’s fertility.

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Mentions of this work in the media: EurekAlert, Epoch Times, SciCasts and elsewhere [1], [2], [3], [4]


Rice’s Shell Center awards grants for sustainable development research

Three grants announced this spring by Rice University’s Shell Center for Sustainability will allow Rice faculty and students to research ways to enhance agricultural productivity, improve water and air quality and make Houston more environmentally sustainable and resilient.

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Rice sets plan to be climate-neutral by 2038

Rice will mark Campus Sustainability Day Oct. 22 to celebrate efforts in making the university greener today and for coming generations of Owls. A significant step in the latter was achieved this past year when Rice adopted a plan to guide the university’s sustainability efforts and set the goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2038.

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Two Rice professors named AIMBE fellows

Zygourakis, the A.J. Hartsook Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, professor of bioengineering and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, will be recognized "for seminal contributions and visionary leadership in the application of engineering principles toward the elucidation of cell and tissue dynamics.”

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Think small for biofuels success

The federal government wants domestic biofuel producers to think big in the coming decade. Kyriacos Zygourakis, a professor at Rice University, wants them to think small…

Greening of Oil...

Schools see the importance of a greener vision

Kyriacos Zygourakis, the A.J. Hartsook Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is quoted in an article on renewable energy programs in the U.S.

Financial Times (registration required)


Five proposals win support from Faculty Initiatives Fund

“These grants are intended to help faculty members develop adventurous projects that might enhance the university and that might lead to larger endeavors, research breakthroughs, external funding opportunities or unusually creative works,” said Caroline Levander, vice provost for interdisciplinary initiatives.

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Cooking better biochar: Study improves recipe for soil additive

Backyard gardeners who make their own charcoal soil additives, or biochar, should take care to heat their charcoal to at least 450 degrees Celsius to ensure that water and nutrients get to their plants, according to a new study by Rice University scientists.

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Research teams win IBB, Hamill awards

Fortified foods, pediatric heart valves that grow with a patient and the effects of biochar on microbes are among the winners of awards presented by Rice University’s Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB).

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Best Fundamental Paper Award

Alumnus Gang Cheng ’05 and Kyriacos Zygourakis, the A.J. Hartsook Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and professor in bioengineering, won the Best Fundamental Paper Award at the South Texas Section of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

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Rice researchers weigh environmental, economic costs of biodiesel production

Biodiesel is seen as a renewable alternative to diesel fuel made from petroleum. As production of biodiesel has risen in recent years, Rice University researchers are looking at ways to make it more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable.

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Rice team gets top prize in 'Recycle Ike' contest

Hurricane Ike left more than 5.6 million cubic yards of fallen trees, broken branches and dead greenery in Houston, and Mayor Bill White last week awarded a $10,000 grand prize to a team of Rice University students, faculty and staff who found a way for the city to simultaneously get rid of the debris, reduce greenhouse gases and turn a potential profit.

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The Way I see It:Offshore oil from moratoria areas: A gusher? Or too little, too late?

We’ve all seen the commercial where T. Boone Pickens warns that we ”cannot drill ourselves out of this energy crisis.” At the same time, the proponents of ”drill here and now” are pressuring Congress to lift the ban on offshore drilling in the moratoria areas of our outer continental shelf (OCS). And an increasing majority of Americans, according to recent polls, believe the price of gasoline will go down if we start drilling in areas that are currently off-limits.Who is right? Let’s look at the facts and decide.

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Shell Center for Sustainability funds new research

Rice scientists will explore new ways to produce fuel economically and reduce the impact on the environment, thanks to grants from the Shell Center for Sustainability (SCS).

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Biofuels offer no panacea for projected energy shortfall

Corn ethanol and biodiesel can meet only a small fraction of what the U.S. needs for transportation fuels, Rice's Kyriacos Zygourakis told an international gathering of energy analysts.

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Biodiesel initiative now provides fuel for grounds crew

Rice University Biodiesel Initiative (RUBI) is to blame if the exhaust from a Rice lawn mower brings on a sudden craving for french fries.

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Chem Eng name change reflects new plan

In an effort to stay ahead of industry trends and provide students with the skills they need to succeed, the Department of Chemical Engineering has developed a new strategic plan that puts equal emphasis on molecular biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics as fundamental sciences of the discipline…

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Kyriacos Zygourakis 2017