NYSP2I Awards Grants for Green Technologies to Researchers at RPI, Clarkson and RIT

More than $200,000 headed toward research in sustainable technologies

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As part of its 2011–2012 research and development grant program, the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute has awarded four R&D grants totaling approximately $200,000 for projects at Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Rochester Institute of Technology.

RPI received two research and development grants. Joel Plawsky from the Chemical Engineering Department will focus his research on the development of a new photocatalyst for green processing applications to reclaim, reuse or recycle air and water without the use of toxic chemicals. Photocatalysis is a green alternative to many traditional chemical processes that burn fossil fuel to provide the energy required to drive the reactions or use hazardous chemicals that produce hazardous wastes in return. James (Chip) Kilduff from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department will research a low-cost bioreactor module for treatment of food wastes and simultaneous electricity production. The bioreactor system will promote overall waste reduction and will exploit energy efficiency opportunities.

At RIT, Jinwei Gu of the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science will collaborate with Gabrielle Gaustad of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability to develop and characterize novel computational imaging systems that can automatically and efficiently sort scrap materials.

Sulapha Peethamparan of Clarkson’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will work with the Hoskie Co. of Brooklyn, N.Y., to research conversion of waste conch shells as a partial substitute for limestone or calcium carbonate raw material in cement manufacturing.

“The projects funded under NYSP2I’s Research & Development Program assist in accelerating innovative technologies and concepts developed by our partner universities,” says Anahita Williamson, director of the Pollution Prevention Institute. “We are pleased to support applied research that will continue to develop sustainability and pollution prevention efforts in New York state and beyond.”

“The Department of Environmental Conservation is proud to support the NYSP2I’s innovative approaches to create cleaner and greener industrial processes,” says DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “These research and development grants to academia help set New York ahead of the pack when it comes to finding environmentally and economically beneficial solutions.”

The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute provides statewide, comprehensive and integrated programming in technology research, development and diffusion, training and education aimed at making New York state more sustainable for workers, the public, the environment and the economy. The Pollution Prevention Institute was created in 2008 through a grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Additional partners include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Clarkson University, State University of New York at Buffalo and New York’s 10 Regional Technology Development Centers.

More information regarding the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute’s research and development program can be found at www.nysp2i.rit.edu.