Spotlight: EPA P3 Competition

Texas State team converts rice husks
to fuel, fabrics for EPA competition

EPA P3 posterA team from Texas State University will be participating in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) competition April 21-23 in Washington, D.C.

The EPA’s P3 program is a student design competition where college students can benefit people, promote prosperity and protect the planet by designing environmental solutions that move us toward a sustainable future.

“There are two phases to the P3 competition,” says  Kelly Widener, assistant director for research communications at the National Center for Environmental Research. “For the first phase of the competition, teams are awarded a $15,000 grant to develop their idea. They then bring the design to the National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C., to compete for the P3 Award and a grant of up to $90,000 to take their design to real world application.”

Texas State’s team, now in the second phase of competition, is converting rice husks, a byproduct of agriculture, into a starter material called lignocellulose for producing fabrics, biofuel and silica nanoparticles. The team, under the direction of Texas State biochemistry professor Dr. Luyi Sun, includes collaborators from Texas Tech University in Lubbock and South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, China.

The project abstract, “Extracting Lignocellulose and Synthesizing Silica Nanoparticles from Rice Husks,” can be read online at:

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