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John Sabraw and Guy Riefler to be featured on WATH 970 talk show June 13

From Staff Reports | Jun 6, 2018

Guy Riefler, professor and chair of the Department of Civil Engineering in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, and John Sabraw, professor and chair of painting and drawing in the School of Art + Design in the College of Fine Arts, will be the featured guests on the Party Line talk show with Dave Palmer on WATH radio from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Wed., June 13. Listeners can tune in to 970 AM/97.1 FM or listen via http://970wath.com/music/ and can call in to ask questions at 740-592-6646.

Riefler and Sabraw will discuss their development and promotion of a new technology to treat acid mine drainage.  Old coal mines have been releasing massive quantities of acid and iron into streams in the region for many decades, and mitigation of this pollution is currently cost prohibitive. The professors’ new process can remove the pollutants from the mine discharge and collect the iron as a paint pigment that can be sold. They are currently engaged in building a pilot-scale treatment plant in Corning, Ohio, that will treat water and produce pigment continuously from a small portion of the mine discharge there. 

Riefler and Sabraw also will talk about:

  • How the process is cost-neutral and possibly profitable.

  • Their goals of cleaning up pollution and generating jobs in Appalachia. 

  • How Sabraw has been producing art with the pollution-derived paint over the past several years and has gained national recognition for his work. 

  • After completion of this pilot project, how they will seek funding for a full-scale system to treat the entire discharge and permanently restore Sunday Creek.

Riefler’s research interests include pollution clean-up, chemical and biological processes of pollutants in the environment, storm water runoff mitigation, and the production of algae for biofuels. He has been a member of the Ohio University faculty since 1999. Sabraw uses acid mine drainage pigments in combination with standard artist colors to create paintings that express the sublimity of nature and the fragility of our relationship with it. He has been a member of the Ohio University faculty since 2003, is a Board Advisor at Scribble Art Workshop NYC and is represented by Thomas McCormick Gallery in Chicago. His work has been collected by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Honolulu, the Elmhurst Museum in Illinois, Emprise Bank and Accenture Corp.