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EPA Awards $75,000 Grant to Clarkson University for Food Waste Project

The grant will be used to develop a more efficient ammonia removal and recovery process for food waste digesters.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Clarkson University with a $75,000 People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) grant, which will be used to develop a more efficient ammonia removal and recovery process for food waste digesters to reduce the volume of food waste sent to solid waste landfills, simultaneously addressing the objectives of improving air quality and revitalizing land.

“These students are applying what they have learned in the classroom to create innovative solutions to environmental challenges,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a statement. “These awards support the next generation of scientists and engineers in their commitment to environmental protection, while helping states, tribes and local communities find solutions to their environmental issues.”

The P3 program is a two-phase research grants program that challenges students to research, develop and design innovative projects addressing environmental and public health challenges. Phase I serves as a “proof of concept,” where teams are awarded a $15,000 grant to develop their idea and showcase their research in the spring at the EPA's National Sustainable Design Expo. These teams are then eligible to compete for a Phase II grant of up to $75,000 to implement their design in a real-world setting.

"We are excited for the Clarkson’s P3 student team that is developing innovative food waste solutions to address our most pressing environmental, health and energy questions while educating our future engineers and scientists," said Gina Lee-Glauser, vice president for research and scholarship at Clarkson University, in a statement. "Environmental projects like this one give our students the chance to solve real-world, open-ended problems with creativity and risk-taking to obtain solutions that are practical and sustainable."

Nationally, the EPA awarded more than $557,000 in funding for eight student teams through the P3 Grants Program during Phase II. Other P3 Phase II winners include: Montclair State University, Kennesaw State University, University of Cincinnati, Texas Woman’s University, California State University, Butte College and University of California, Riverside.

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