FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Loyola University Chicago Receives P3 Award
from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
$90,000 grant will help develop a sustainable way to reuse biodiesel wastewater
CHICAGO, July 1, 2013 – A team of students from Loyola University Chicago has been awarded a People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for developing a more natural way to reuse water from biodiesel production.
The P3 Award is a multi-phase grant program that invests in sustainable solutions to environmental problems. The Loyola team presented “From Pollution to Possibility: A Sustainable and Interdisciplinary Solution to Biodiesel Production Wastewater” at the EPA’s P3 award competition in Washington, DC. They were awarded a $90,000 grant to further research and implement the program.
This is the second time Loyola has been awarded a P3 Award. The first grant, awarded in 2008, was used to establish Loyola’s biodiesel program, which turns cafeteria vegetable oil waste into biofuel.
“We are combating climate change and reducing our carbon footprint with our biodiesel program,” said Zach Waickman, Loyola’s biodiesel lab manager and mentor of the P3 Award team. “The process, however, creates a byproduct that contains methanol, potassium soaps, and free fatty acids. With this grant we can now find a way to sustainably use this byproduct.”
This year’s competition featured approximately 300 students showcasing their sustainable projects. A panel of judges convened by the American Association for the Advancement of Science recommended the winners out of 45 teams following two days of judging. Loyola was one of six universities and colleges to receive the coveted P3 Award. Other schools included University of Massachusetts Lowell, Radford University, San Jose State University, Georgia Southern University, and Cornell University.
Loyola’s P3 team is made up of three faculty/staff mentors and five undergraduates who range in grade level from freshman to senior and are majoring in subjects from physics to English. The students are part of Loyola’s Solutions to Environmental Problems (STEP) courses, which are part of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability and bring together students, faculty, staff, and community mentors to engage in interdisciplinary discussion and action around issues of environmental sustainability.
More information on the P3 Award competition can be found at www.epa.gov/p3/2013winners.
About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with nearly 16,000 students. Almost 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 countries call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Beijing, China; Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 10 schools and colleges, including the Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, and Graduate School. Consistently ranked a top national university by U.S.News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu, “like” us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago or @LoyolaNewsroom.