Empower Hour - Toxic Art

Wednesday, December 2, 2020 1:00pm to 2:00pm

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The Ohio University Alumni Association is excited to introduce you to the next installment in our virtual series, Empower Hour! This event takes place every other Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. EST.


Empower Hour is a program that explores important and relevant topics centered around the theme of continued personal growth and education. We want to equip OHIO alumni with the knowledge they need to become their best selves!


This Empower Hour segment is called "Toxic Art." Southeast Ohio has faced persistent acid mine drainage pollution from old coal mining activities that impairs local streams. Because of a lack of funds and political will, the worst of these pollution sources remain untreated. Dr. Guy Riefler and John Sabraw over the past 10 years have developed a process that treats acid mine drainage while producing an iron-based pigment. Sales from the pigment should pay for the treatment costs and provide a modest business opportunity for an impoverished region. We are currently working to deploy the first full-scale implementation of this technology to clean-up the worst acid mine drainage pollution in Southeast Ohio, practically in the backyard of Ohio University. The project has most recently been featured in TED, Smithsonian, New Scientist, London, Great big Stories, and Time Magazine.



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Dr. Guy Riefler, Chair and Professor of Civil Engineering, has taught all of the courses in the environmental engineering curriculum over the past 21 years. His research focus is the clean-up of pollution using biological and chemical processes and includes projects such as biofiltration of highway runoff, phytoremediation of explosives pollution, iron nanoparticles for use in groundwater remediation, and sustainable treatment of acid mine drainage.




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John Sabraw, Chair and Professor of Painting + Drawing, creates paintings, drawings and installations that are produced in an eco-conscious manner. He collaborates with scientists on projects including with professor Riefler creating pigments from iron oxide extracted in the process of remediating streams polluted with acid mine drainage. Sabraw’s art is in numerous collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Honolulu, the Elmhurst Museum in Illinois, Emprise Bank, Bank of America, and Accenture Corp.



You will receive a confirmation email upon registration that will include details on how to join this virtual event.


If you have any questions, please email Associate Director, Alumni Experiences, Caleb Beasecker at beasecker@ohio.edu.

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