ASU's School Of Sustainable Engineering And The Built Environment Receives A Pollution Prevention Grant From The EPA

By Jill Ryan
Published: Monday, September 28, 2020 - 9:29am
Updated: Monday, September 28, 2020 - 4:09pm

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Mackenzie Boyer
This kit monitors conductivity in real-time and can be used at a "wide range of facilities to help determine if or when the utility water would need to receive additional treatment onsite," ASU professor Mackenzie Boyer said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $9.3 million in pollution prevention grants to 42 organizations across the nation. One of them was awarded to Arizona State University. 

The School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment was given more than $376,000 to continue their water efficiency project that began in 2018. 

Assistant research professor Mackenzie Boyer is with the project. She says when a company wants to switch out one flavored product for another, for example, the question is: How much water is needed to efficiently and effectively wash out the tank.

“If you have a strong coffee in a coffee cup, and you try to wash it out, there will be more of that residual flavor left in your somewhat washed out coffee cup. But if you had a weak tea, then it’s a lot easier to get rid of that flavor," Boyer said. 

She and others have developed sensors to detect those flavor signatures and see how they change as tanks are cleaned.

John Busterud, the EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, says ASU’s focus is to reduce water and energy use in the food and beverage industry as well as aerospace manufacturing companies in Arizona.

“So ASU will create a demonstration and training tool of water quality, quantity and flow centers to illustrate how a company can implement real time water audits to reduce their water use," Busterud said.

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