Extramural Research - People, Prosperity and the Planet
Senator Clinton Congratulates Clarkson University Students on Winning Recognition for their Alternative Fuel Research
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Students Were in Washington, DC this Week to Present their Biodiesel Research Project to the National Sustainable Design Expo
(Washington, DC) - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton met this week with students from Clarkson University's P3 (People, Prosperity, Planet) Sustainable Design Team and congratulated them on being selected to present their research titled "Biodiesel as a Sustainable Alternative to Petroleum Diesel in School Buses" to the EPA's National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, DC. Senator Clinton congratulated the team who, following the meeting Tuesday, went on to win an Honorable Mention Wednesday night in the EPA's Second Annual P3 Award as part of the Expo.
"It was an honor to meet with Clarkson's P3 Team and welcome them to Washington. As our nation struggles to deal with its energy crisis, their research could not come at a better time. Their project has the potential to significantly impact our understanding of biodiesel and the development of alternative fuels," Senator Clinton said. "I want to congratulate them on being selected for this national expo. Their research is important for our economy, our environment and our future and I am thrilled that they have been rewarded with this recognition for their work."
The National Design Expo and the P3 Award National Design Competition is cosponsored by The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) and The American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute's (GCI). More than 350 colleges and university students from 21 teams across the country competed at the Expo for the P3 Award. Clarkson was the only team representing New York State. The students presented their research on the National Mall as part of the Expo.
The EPA's P3 award program is a partnership between the public and private sectors to achieve the mutual goals of economic prosperity while protecting the natural systems of the planet and providing a higher quality of life for its people. Through the partnership, grants are provided to teams of college students to research, develop, and design sustainable solutions to environmental challenges. P3 highlights "people, prosperity and the planet" -- the three pillars of sustainability -- as the next step beyond P2 or "pollution prevention."
Diesel exhaust is potentially harmful to human health and is a significant pollutant, yet few people have studied children's exposure to these fumes. During the study, the Clarkson team examined the use of biodiesel as an alternative replacement fuel for school buses operating in the rural, cold climate of northern New York. As part of the project, biodiesel and diesel emission concentrations were monitored near school buses at Potsdam Elementary School. From the data collected, the team found that for both fuels concentrations of exhaust particulate matter were lower than national standards, and that by switching to biodiesel, North Country schools could reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and their operating costs. Biodiesel is a sustainable alternative fuel that can be locally produced and can both reduce emissions and produce emissions with less toxic components than petroleum-based fuels. The Clarkson study also determined that biodiesel could have an economic impact on the future development of Potsdam and the surrounding region.
The team is composed of Clarkson University students Sam Gorton, Bhavin Bhayani, Matthew Williams, Scott Lewis, Cathy Schriener, and Rajiv Narula. Their faculty advisors were Alan Rossner, Assistant Professor of Biology and Industrial Hygiene; Susan Powers, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in the Coulter School of Engineering and Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Andrea Ferro, Assistant Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Roshan Jachuck, Professor of Chemical Engineering and biodiesel expert.
This article is also featured in Clarkson University Press