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Pollution Prevention interns report substantial savings

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Pollution Prevention interns report substantial savings

Nick Lang calculates airflow by taking a velocity measurement on a dehumidification system. Lang had an internship with EaglePicher in which he analyzed the facility for opportunities to reduce energy usage. “The most difficult, yet most rewarding, part of the internship was proposing my suggestions to lead members of EaglePicher to try and secure funding for the projects,” Lang said. “I had the opportunity to work with several great people at EaglePicher and earned great experience while also making a difference.”

Engineering students who spent the summer researching ways to help Missouri companies cut energy and environmental costs presented their findings in an environmental seminar on Sept. 10 in Ketcham Auditorium in Lafferre Hall. Nine students from Mizzou, UMKC and Missouri S&T worked at nine different locations. They identified ways to cut energy costs, conserve water and reduce hazardous waste. The paid Pollution Prevention (P2) internships were coordinated through Mizzou’s Environmental Assistance Center (EAC).

At the seminar, the students related their methods, findings and how they applied their engineering knowledge to real-world problems. Their combined findings amounted to reductions of more than 3,500 metric tons of greenhouse gases; 3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity; 127,000 pounds of hazardous waste; 4.3 million gallons of water and over $610,500 in annual savings. During the program’s last three years, interns have identified more than $1 million in savings through environmental improvements.

”Today’s companies are beginning to understand the real costs of inefficiency,” said EAC Director Marie Steinwachs. “We wish every engineering student would take our Pollution Prevention course so that they enter the workforce knowing how to find savings in any type of operation.”

The P2 intern program is supported by the College of Engineering and Extension Business Development Program and funded by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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