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05-17-2006

Senator Clinton Congratulates Clarkson Students on Receiving Honorable Mention for Alternative Fuel Research at EPA Competition

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton met with students from Clarkson University's P3 (People, Prosperity, Planet) Sustainable Design team and congratulated them on being selected to present their research titled "Biodiesel as a Sustainable Alternative to Petroleum Diesel in School Buses" at the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C., May 9-10. Clarkson and the other teams that received P3 grants earlier in the year were invited to present their findings to a panel of judges from the National Academies of Science and Engineering.

"It was an honor to meet with Clarkson's P3 team and welcome them to Washington. As our nation struggles to deal with its energy crisis, their research could not come at a better time. Their project has the potential to significantly impact our understanding of biodiesel and development of alternative fuels, " Senator Clinton said. I want to congratulate them on being selected for this national expo. Their research is important for our economy, our environment and our future and I am thrilled that they have been rewarded with this recognition for their work."

Diesel exhaust is potentially harmful to human health and is a significant pollutant, yet few people have studied children's exposure to these fumes. During the study, the Clarkson team examined the use of biodiesel as an alternative replacement fuel for school buses operating in the rural, cold climate of northern New York. As part of the project, biodiesel and diesel emission concentrations were monitored near school buses at Potsdam Elementary School. From the data collected, the team found that for both fuels concentrations of exhaust particulate matter were lower than national standards, and that by switching to biodiesel, North Country schools could reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and their operating costs.

Biodiesel is a sustainable alternative fuel that can be locally produced and can both reduce emissions and produce emissions with less toxic components than petroleum-based fuels. The Clarkson study also determined that biodiesel could have an economic impact on the future development of Potsdam and the surrounding region.

The National Design Expo and the P3 Award National Design Competition is cosponsored by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) and the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute. More than 350 colleges and university students from 21 teams across the country competed at the Expo for the P3 Award. Clarkson was the only team representing New York state.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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