WVU researchers dig in to return carbon to soil and improve biomass production on reclaimed mine lands

But instead of removing something from the earth, he’ll put something back. 

Freedman, an assistant professor of environmental microbiology in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design said Miscanthus X giganteus, a biomass plant with an especially deep and substantial root structure, can regenerate the damaged acreage, soaking up carbon from the atmosphere and returning it to the soil.

WVU researchers thirsty for reducing fresh water use by power plants

Power plants across the country utilize more than four times as much water as all U.S. homes and account for 41 percent of total water withdrawals, according to federal data. 

Now, with the aid of a $400,000-Department of Energy grant, West Virginia University researchers are seeking ways to quench the thirst of the nation’s power plants in a more cost-effective, environmentally-friendly fashion. 

Ziemkiewicz briefs Congressional committee on extracting rare earth elements from acid mine drainage

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Yesterday (May 14), Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the Water Research Institute at West Virginia University’s Energy Institute , testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on recent research advances on the development of a domestic source of rare earth elements.

RREs, the minerals that make electronic devices work, are essential to the economy and national security.  Currently, the primary source of these minerals worldwide is China.  

WVU researchers keep coal mining community alive through oral history and photography

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Researchers from West Virginia University are preserving the memories of a coal community through oral history and photography. 

Supported by a grant from the WVU Humanities Center, the research team used historical images from the West Virginia and Regional History Center’s online photographs database,  West Virginia History OnView, to document the history of the Scott’s Run community in Monongalia County. 

WVU biology student to investigate the role of soils in climate change across global ecosystems

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A West Virginia University graduate student is investigating how soils store carbon in ecosystems around the world to understand the impact of climate change.

Biology Ph.D. student Nanette Raczka’s summer research efforts will begin in a seasonally dry tropical forest in Gaunacaste, Costa Rica. Raczka received a grant from the Explorers Club Washington Group to study how microbes in the soil cycle carbon under periods of drought.