EPA Awards $1.2 Million To Fund Solutions for Environmental Concerns

The funding offers students the opportunity for hands-on experience to turn their creative design and engineering ideas into reality, while also helping solve real-world environmental challenges.

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Sixteen college student teams in the US will receive $1.2 million in funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to research and develop innovative solutions that address environmental and public health challenges. The funding is part of the EPA’s People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Program, launched 20 years ago with the goal of designing environmental solutions that move the country toward a sustainable future. Each program will receive a $75,000 grant to fund the project over 2 years.

Of the 16 recipients, six are focused on environmental solutions. These recipients include:

  • Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado, for Open-Source Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) System for the Rapid and Accurate Detection of Bacteria From Environmental Water Samples
  • Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, for Navigating the Food-Energy-Water Nexus Through the Conversion of Food Waste to Biocrude
  • Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, for Production of Lithium Carbonate From Geothermal Brine by Selective Extraction of Lithium Using a Novel Ion Sieve Method
  • Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, for Biodiesel Production From Ethanol and Glycerol: A Living Laboratory for STEM Students
  • University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, for Enhancement of PFAS-Contaminated Organic Wastes Treatment in Anaerobic Digestion by Carbon Materials
  • Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania, for Developing Geopolymer Cement Using Sewage Sludge Ash as Precursors

“EPA is pleased to mark the 20th anniversary of our P3 program by announcing this impressive round of projects that are tackling critical issues such as removing PFAS from water, combating harmful algal blooms, and materials recovery and reuse,” said Chris Frey, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

Learn more about the program and this year’s recipients here.