During this year’s Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected UW-Madison to receive a $411,963 P2 Grant to prevent pollution caused by food and beverage manufacturing.
P2 refers to the elimination of pollutants from being released before recycling, treatment or disposal.
“The EPA’s pollution prevention grants provide businesses with more incentives and opportunities to reduce waste and money,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede in a release. “It’s much cheaper to prevent pollution than to clean it up, and continuing to work together with our partners across Wisconsin will ensure we’re successful in what is a primary objective of this agency under the Trump administration.”
At UW-Madison, the grant will specifically be used to reduce energy consumption and source fuel requirements and greenhouse gas emissions that are usually emitted through the production of frozen foods. The money will help the project team access low-temperature freezing systems in food production, develop strategies to improve their processes and create cost-effective solutions to increase energy efficiency in freezing systems.
UW-Madison Mechanical Engineering Professor Douglas Reindl is leading the project.
“Low-temperature freezing systems are among the most energy-intensive in the food industry,” said Reindl. “We are looking forward to systematically assessing the performance of several low-temperature freezing systems in operating food plants, identifying key strategies to cost-effectively improve their performance and disseminating our findings to the industry.”
UW-Madison is one of 42 organizations from 39 states to receive a share of the $9.3 million put towards the pollution prevention initiative.
Each organization is required to produce at least one case study within the research areas of food and beverage manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, aerospace product/part manufacturing or metal manufacturing, and grantees are encouraged to document and share their findings.