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Texas State wins prestigious P3 Award from EPA

Posted by University News Service

April 25, 2012

A team of students from Texas State University-San Marcos and South China University of Technology has been named one of 15 college teams nationally to receive the prestigious P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Following an initial peer review process, this year’s winners were selected from 45 competing teams after two days of judging by a panel of national experts convened in Washington, D.C., April 21-23 to provide recommendations to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

EPA selected the award-winning projects from the most competitive pool of teams ever, basing its decisions on the potential to provide innovative, cutting-edge sustainable solutions to worldwide environmental problems.

“The competition and expo are not only about EPA’s prestigious P3 Award, but also about supporting the next generation of this country’s innovators and entrepreneurs who are entering the environmental and public health field with passion to make a difference,” said Lek Kadeli, acting assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Research and Development. “The P3 program gives these students the opportunity to bring those ideas to realization and many have the potential to make significant impacts on our nation’s sustainable future and development of environmental technologies.”

Each P3 award-winning team will receive a grant of up to $90,000 to further develop their design, apply it to real world applications or move it to the marketplace. Previous P3 award winners have started successful businesses and are marketing the technologies in the U.S. and around the world.

Texas State’s team was honored for its project that converts rice husks, a byproduct of agriculture, into a starter material called lignocellulose for producing fabrics, biofuel and silica nanoparticles.

Other teams receiving the P3 Award represented Appalachian State Universiy, Butte College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Gonzaga University, Oregon State University, Princeton University, Santa Clara University, Southern Illinois University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Engineering, University of California-Riverside, University of Cincinnati, University of Connecticut, University of Oklahoma and Vanderbilt University.