By: Regina Ramazzini

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) grant recipients are showcasing their sustainable designs and technologies aimed at solving current environmental and public health challenges. Swing by the EPA P3 Pavilion to see the P3 teams present their innovations!

EPA P3 Student Teams Showcase Innovative Sustainability Projects at 2017 TechConnect


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) grant recipients are showcasing their sustainable designs and technologies aimed at solving current environmental and public health challenges. These 35 teams, consisting of undergraduate students, are pioneering ideas like creating water filters from the fibers of invasive plants and husks of common crops, and using modeling and 3D technology to reduce textile waste in the clothing industry.

Swing by the EPA P3 Pavilion to see the P3 teams present their innovations!
 
• Appalachian State University - Advanced Oxidation Processing (AOP) for EDC Removal
• Butte College - Energy Generation through Gasification of Optimized Rice Hull Biomass
• California State University, Chico - Reusable Biodegradable Solvents from Biodiesel
• Case Western Reserve University - Electrical Incinerator for HMW Disposal
• Clarkson University - NH4 Removal and Reactive Nitrogen Recovery
• Colorado School of Mines - Reducing Mercury Pollution in Small-Scale Mining
• Cornell University - High Rate Sedimentation Tank for Hydraulic H20 Treatment
• Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Multi-Layer Phase-Change Material Insulation
• Fashion Institute of Technology - Threading the Needle: Composting to Colorants
• Georgia Southern University - Accelerated Insulation Recycling System (AIRS)
• Hamline University - Snow Removal for Northern Solar Panel Operation
• Iowa State University - Sustainable & Smart Solar Power-Controlled Apparel
• John Brown University - Shock-Resistant Biogas Digester for Cookstove Fuel
• Kennesaw State University - Reduce Carbon Emissions by Wireless Power Transfer
• Miami University – Keratin-based Adsorbent for Drinking Water Filtration
• Michigan State University – Nanochromatography Monitoring for Urine Fertilizers
• Montclair State University – Low-Cost Active Coating Mulch for Urban Runoff
• Purdue University – Recovering Rare Earth Permanent Magnets for Reuse
• Rochester Institute of Technology – Larvae for Managing Food Waste in Northern Cities
• Southern Methodist University – Biopolymers for Sustainable Agricultural Solutions
• Texas Woman’s University – Sustainable Pollinator Gardens for Habitat and Education
• University of Alabama – Straight Pipe and Septic Impacts on Rural Streams
• University of California, Berkeley – Electrochemical Nitrate Remediation of Rural Water
• University of California, Riverside – NiTreat: Nitrate Removal from Drinking Water
• University of California, Riverside – Three-Phase Ammonia Air Scrubber Recycles Water
• University of Cincinnati – Beneficial Reuse of PCBs
• University of Delaware – Optimizing Apparel Development to Reduce Waste
• University of Massachusetts, Lowell – Safer and Effective Solvents Paint Stripping
• University of Rhode Island – Nanocellulose from Invasive Plants for H20 Filters
• University of Texas, Austin – Nano-Silver and Zeolite for Ceramic Water Filters
• University of Texas, San Antonio – Web-Based Tool to Reduce GHG Emissions from Coal
• Vanderbilt University – Solar Desalination with Capacitive Deionization
• Washington State University – Recycling for Value-Added Regenerated Cotton Fiber
• West Chester University – Wind-Actuated Vibrating Electrochem (WAVE) Digester
• Western Michigan University – Net Positive Outdoor Sustainability Learning Center

Funding for the P3 competition is divided into two phases. Teams selected for Phase I awards receive grants of up to $15,000 to fund the proof of concept for their projects, which are then showcased at the P3 National Sustainable Design Expo in the spring. Following the expo, P3 teams compete for Phase II awards of up to $75,000 to further develop their designs and potentially bring them to the marketplace.

Previous P3 teams have gone on to start businesses that sell products developed during their participation in the P3 program. For example, Sunn began as a team of students from Cornell University that won a P3 award in 2012. Sunn creates energy-efficient LED light fixtures and apps that mimic outdoor light, inside.
 
In 2007, a P3 team from Drexel University developed a Bubble Column Reactor, which used fatty acids gathered from grease-trap waste at wastewater management plants to create biodiesel.
 
Another successful P3 team is AguaClara. Funded with a P3 grant in 2009, the Cornell University Team improved upon a gravity-powered drinking water technology used to provide clean drinking water. Currently, AguaClara has 11 water treatment plans in ten Honduran communities.

More information can be seen here.