Ecosystem Services

Leveraging synergies between ecological and industrial processes in order to reduce costs and strengthen natural capital.

Synergistic Linkages

Ecosystems provide our economy with water, foods, fibers, and fuels, as well as critical services such as pollination and carbon sequestration. However, excessive utilization of bio-based resources may decrease resilience by exceeding nature’s capacity. Ohio State has developed a pioneering approach to design synergistic linkages between industrial processes and ecological processes.

Bioderived Rubber

Ohio State is developing a domestic source of high-quality rubber from a cousin of the common dandelion, named Buckeye Gold. The potential crop could grow to several million acres of natural rubber, enough to make the US self-sufficient.

Synergy with Nature

Ohio State demonstrated the analysis of techno-ecological synergies at a biodiesel plant, concluding that local ecosystems could mitigate airborne pollutants at a much lower cost, and also could help offset the plant’s water demand and carbon emissions.

Capturing Wasted Carbon

Ohio State is pioneering novel applications of biochemistry and molecular genetics, enabling plants to capture atmospheric carbon and incorporate it into chemical building blocks that can substitute for a variety of industrial feedstocks.

Partners

SRE leverages a broad range of capabilities at Ohio State to develop sustainable resource utilization strategies, including the Byrd Polar Center, the Environmental Policy Initiative, the Environmental Sustainability Lab, the Global Water Institute, the Office of Energy & Environment, the Ohio Agricultural R&D Center, and the Ohio Sea Grant.