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Missouri S&T Team Receives $25,000 EPA Grant for Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms Project

People, Prosperity and the Planet program provides $447,000 in funding for 18 undergraduate and graduate teams across the country

02/19/2020
Contact Information: 
David W. Bryan, APR (bryan.david@epa.gov)
913-551-7433

Environmental News
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., Feb. 19, 2019) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted $25,000 to a Missouri University of Science and Technology student team for their project to develop a portable, low-cost biofilter that removes freshwater, harmful algal bloom-derived cyanotoxins and heavy metal ions from water using polymeric nanoparticles.

The grant award is part of approximately $447,000 in funding for 18 teams of undergraduate and graduate students across the country through the People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Student Design Competition Program. Each team will receive a Phase I grant of up to $25,000 to develop their sustainable designs that will help solve important environmental and public health challenges.

“The innovative ideas that these P3 teams are bringing out of the classroom and into the real world will help solve some of our nation’s most pressing environmental challenges,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “From creating a simple at-home test for consumers to detect lead in tap water to designing a system to remove toxic chemicals from landfill gas, the fresh thinking behind these projects will result in tangible products that will help Americans for generations to come.”

These teams will showcase their projects at EPA’s National Student Design Competition & Expo on June 29-30 at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference Exitin National Harbor, Maryland. Following the Expo, the P3 teams may compete for Phase II awards of up to $100,000 to further implement their designs.

Other grantees include student teams from the following universities:

  • Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania; to create a paper test to detect lead in tap water.
  • Howard University, Washington, D.C.; to design and test a pollution control method that will reduce nutrient emissions that cause cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms.
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg; to develop a low-cost portable desalination system using wave and solar renewable energy, which can be modified for personal use or the use in small communities.
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh; to use electrical properties of carbon filters to improve the efficient removal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contaminants from drinking water.
  • The University of Alabama, Huntsville; to develop low-cost adsorbents for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for safe drinking water in homes and offices.
  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte; to develop eco-friendly membrane systems for water purification.
  • University of South Carolina, Columbia; to design a system for removing toxic chemicals from landfill gas.
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing; to develop an environmentally friendly approach to make recyclable paper coatings.
  • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio; to develop a sawdust that can selectively remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from drinking water.
  • St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas; to advance an efficient solar concentrator to produce electricity.
  • Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas; to use biochars to remove bacterial toxins in drinking water sources.
  • University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; to develop approaches for sidewalk construction using recycled materials that use less energy and limit heat storage capacity.
  • University of Texas, Dallas; to design low-cost air quality sensors and provide them to local communities.
  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg; to develop a low-cost filter to be used as an alternative to expensive commercial water filter systems.
  • Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado; to develop a portable system to provide accurate and rapid detection of waterborne bacteria and the genotypes of the bacteria population in water systems.
  • University of California, Berkeley; to develop a method to remove arsenic from contaminated groundwater to help improve water quality in public water systems in rural California.
  • University of California, Riverside; to develop construction material out of wheat straw.

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Learn more about the 2019 Phase I winners

Learn more about the P3 Program

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