The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that a team of engineers from Oklahoma State University team will receive a $15,000 grant from EPA for their research in decreasing the energy use in wastewater treatment through the People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Program.
Grants were awarded to 31 college teams across the country that are developing sustainable technologies to solve current environmental and public health challenges.
Wastewater treatment plants currently consume between 1-3% of the total electricity in the United States. The OSU team project focuses on decreasing the amount of energy that is used in these facilities.
The goal for OSU’s team is to develop a cost-effective approach to enhance energy efficiency in wastewater treatment plants by supplying the optimal amount of aeration needed to meet treatment regulations.
“This grant provides a foundation for the development of new technologies to improve the sustainability of our energy and water systems by protecting water quality while using the minimum required energy,” said Professor Dave Lampert, the lead investigator for the project. “The goals of this project fit with the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology and OSU goals of developing technology for a more sustainable society. The support from EPA will create opportunities to gather preliminary data on existing wastewater plants and their energy usage. We are using the financial support to build a lab-scale prototype to use for future technology development.”
OSU’s team includes civil engineering students Greg Hendrickson, Aubrey McCutchan and Rabecca Wiseman; electrical engineering student Nick Overacker; environmental engineering student Stephen Ogle; and civil and environmental engineering Professor Dave Lampert. Also assisting the team are Dr. James Stine from the school of electrical and computer engineering and David Thomison from OSU’s Spears School of Business.
In the EPA grant competition, students work to design solutions that address real-world environmental and public health challenges. In doing so, these students gain hands-on experience that brings their classroom learning and education to life. The teams then showcase their developed designs and research findings at the National Sustainable Design Competition (NSDE) in Washington D.C. on April 7-8. If successful, they will move on to Phase II where the teams could be awarded up to $75,000 to further develop and implement their ideas.
Click here to learn more about OSU’s program.
Click here for more information about EPA in Oklahoma.
Click here for more information on the P3 Program.