EPA awards grant for pipe replacement project

Dec. 18, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded a $25,000 grant to a team of university students in West Virginia for a project that will replace PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) and PE (Polyethylene) water pipe materials.

The Marshall University students’ project involved replacing PVC and PE pipes with Nanoclay Reinforced Recycled HDPE (high-density polyethylene) pipes. HDPE piping offers corrosion and fatigue resistance and a product life of between 50 and 100 years.

According to a Marshall University press release, the project focuses on improving the material properties — particularly chemical and fracture resistance — of recycled plastics, by blending an advanced material named nanoclay. The projects’ members believe that their research helps reduce waste by increasing durability of recycled plastics while promoting sustainability and waste management.

The grant is part of the People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) program. The EPA has announced awards of approximately $800,000 to 32 student teams nationally to develop and demonstrate projects that help address environmental and public health challenges.

“As EPA celebrates its 50th anniversary, this month, we are highlighting ways the agency supports the next generation of environmental leaders,” said Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, EPA’s Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science and EPA Science Advisor. “The P3 program helps foster environmental education among students to support the next generation of scientists and engineers working to tackle some of today’s most pressing environmental issues.”

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