Tuesday, December 22, 2020

EPA Awards Grants To 32 College Student Teams For Innovative Tech Projects, Including 2 In PA

The  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced approximately
$792,036 in funding for 32 student teams through its People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Grant Program, including teams from Carnegie Mellon University and Temple University. 

Each team will receive funding to develop and demonstrate projects that help address environmental and public health challenges.

The Phase I teams will receive grants of up to $25,000 each which serve as their proof of concept. 

This year’s winners are addressing a variety of research topics including efforts to reduce microplastics waste and food waste, creating innovative and solar-driven nanomaterials, building a stand-alone water treatment system that can provide potable water for indoor use in single family homes, and removing PFAS from water using liquid extractions. 

Carnegie Mellon

The project involves volatile organic compounds sensors for lead-level detection and speciation. The goal of this proposal is to develop a reliable and cost-effective VOC sensor suite for ambient and residential deployment with rough speciation, which will enable human exposure estimation and benefit pollution control. Read more here.


The project will research on using a biochar filter for Philadelphia water lead removal. The main goal of the project is to produce a decentralized water filtration method with biochar to address lead contamination in household tap water. Lead can leach from distribution systems and plumbing components; this project will evaluate biochar, produced from coffee grounds and common water hyacinth, to remove lead as a cheaper and more environmentally friendly approach.  Read more here.

These teams are also eligible to compete for a Phase II grant of up to $100,000 to further implement their design in a real-world setting.

Click Here for the complete announcement.

For more information on this program, visit EPA’s People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Grant Program webpage.

[Posted: December 22, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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