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EPA Awards 45 Universities with Grants to Help Design Sustainable Technologies - Drexel University

Release Date: 11/18/2011
Contact Information: Terri A. White, 215-814-5523

Drexel University students to design project for the environment, economy

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 18, 2011) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Phase I grants for the 2011-2012 school year. A team from Drexel University in Philadelphia is one of 45 teams of college and university students across the country that won funding to design creative solutions to sustainability challenges in the developed and developing world.

The Drexel students will use their $15,000 P3 grant for a waste-to-fuel project, examining a specific use of waste and leachate from municipal landfills to produce fuel-grade oil. Their project aims to show how a municipal landfill facility can use its waste byproducts to produce its own fuel. Additional potential benefits include the creation of new jobs, a reduction of the facility’s dependence on fossil fuels, and a reduction in the cost and energy required to ship leachate off site for treatment.

“I commend Drexel’s team of students for their ambition and interest in exploring the potential beneficial use of municipal waste to help meet energy needs and spur new jobs,” said Shawn M. Garvin, EPA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator. “EPA’s P3 grant to these students is enabling our future leaders to play an important role in designing sustainable solutions that support the growth and stability of our nation’s future.”

EPA’s P3 grants challenge students, working together on interdisciplinary teams, to design and build sustainable technologies that improve quality of life, promote economic development and protect the environment. The annual competition begins with Phase I grant awards of $15,000 to student teams that then work on projects in a range of categories including water, energy, agriculture, built environment, and materials and chemicals.

After working on the project for eight months, the teams will bring their designs to the 8th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C around Earth Day. At the expo, the projects will be judged by a panel of experts. A few teams will be selected for Phase II grants up to $90,000 for students to improve their designs, implement them in the field, or move them to the marketplace.

Applications are being accepted through Dec. 22, 2011, for the next round of Phase I awards for the 2012-2013 school year. In addition to the categories above, teams can also propose innovative ideas for green infrastructure and designing clean cookstoves.

More information on the P3 Phase I grant awards:

More information on applying for a 2012-2013 Phase I P3 award: