DALLAS TEXAS (August 7, 2023)– The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $25,000 to Rice University to fund their research on treating PFAS (per- and polyfluoralkyl) waste in landfills as part of the Agency’s People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Program.
“EPA’s P3 program, now in its twentieth year, is an exciting and unique program that recognizes the power of students to translate imagination and science into new solutions that protect human health and the environment,” said Chris Frey, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “Congratulations to this year’s teams. Their innovative projects tackle critical environmental issues and include an eco-friendly coating to reduce contamination in marine environments, a device to remove microplastics from stormwater, an air monitoring and filtration technology to reduce student exposures to air pollutants, and more.”
The Rice University team is developing a chemical-free UV unit that degrades PFAS waste leachate in landfills using boron nitride, a nontoxic chemical compound. By providing a non-toxic method to treat PFAS-containing wastewater emanating from landfills, the amount of PFAS and other organic pollutants will be reduced in the water supplies of nearby communities. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS in the environment may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals. Learn more about the team’s project here.
Twenty-one Phase I recipients will receive grants of up to $25,000 each to help them develop their proof-of-concept, and will be eligible to compete for a Phase II grant of up to $100,000 to further implement their designs.