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ESF Students Vie for $75,000 in National Science Competition

One of 43 schools winning a slot in round two

(Syracuse, N.Y.) Ten State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) students, under the direction of Dr. Wendong Tao and Dr. Stewart Diemont, will be in Washington, D.C., April 18-20 to compete in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) National Sustainable Design Expo. More than 60 students have participated in the project.

ESF is one of 43 teams from around the country to win a $10,000 award last fall for the project called, A Novel Process for Biological Nitrogen Removal from Dairy Wastewater in Constructed Wetlands. Other first round winners include RIT, Columbia University, Gonzaga, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, UCLA, and Pittsburgh, among others.

The winning teams received the $10,000 award in the fall of 2008 and use the academic year to flesh out their design. Five winners of the design competition in Washington, as judged by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, will receive $75,000 to continue work on their project.

Dr. Wendong Tao said, The ESF team is developing a wetland treatment system for wastewater that promotes anaerobic ammonium oxidation, thus requiring less input of nonrenewable energy and releasing less greenhouse gas.

We propose, Tao continued, to demonstrate for treatment of dairy wastewater, but it is suitable for other types of ammonia-rich wastewater, such as swine wastewater, landfill leachate, food processing wastewater, aquaculture effluent, and some industrial effluents.

For more details about the about the EPAs P3 competition (P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability): http://www.epa.gov/P3