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UMD Team Awarded an EPA 2013 People, Prosperity and the Planet Grant

UMD Team Awarded an EPA 2013 People, Prosperity and the Planet Grant

A University of Maryland (UMD) team has been awarded a 2013 People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Phase I grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The UMD team includes Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering students Catherine Birney, Michael Lee, Vincent Fiedler and Elizabethe Manzi and Assistant Professor Baoxia Mi who also oversees UMD's Membrane Innovation Lab.

The team's project, Solar-Powered Membrane System for Emergency Drinking Water Supply, is aimed at developing a system for emergency drinking water supplies that offers sustainable water purification technology that can be used for both emergency and household drinking water. According to their P3 grant page, this system will integrate two emerging membrane processes, forward osmosis (FO) and membrane distillation (MD), and it can be used for the on-site treatment of various water sources including contaminated field water, brackish water, storm water and gray water. In addition, the system will utilize solar panels as its sole energy source. The system will also be operated under atmospheric pressure and low temperatures, providing greater flexibility for scaling up/down for on-site water treatment.

This new system has a number of advantages over existing water purification technologies, including enhanced energy sustainability through the use of solar energy, high-quality product water and low environmental impact.

The P3 Award competition considers projects that address challenges related to a wide range of categories: water, energy, agriculture, built environment, and materials and chemicals. Through this EPA program, college students can benefit people, promote prosperity and protect the planet by designing solutions that move the U.S. toward a sustainable future.

For more information on this project, visit their P3 webpage.

For more information on Mi and research in the Membrane Innovation Lab, visit the lab's website.

December 3, 2013

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