RIVERSIDE, Calif. (http://www.ucr.edu) A team of University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering students have won an EPA student design contest for a device they created that curbs harmful pollutant emitted from lawnmowers by 93 percent.
The students developed the device an "L" shaped piece of stainless steel that attaches to the lawnmower where its muffler was because small engine devices produce significant harmful emissions. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a gasoline powered lawn mower emits 11 times the air pollution of a new car for each hour of operation.
The grey piece is a metal mesh filter to remove particulate matter and the white piece is the catalyst support structure.
The students' device has also fits in with UC President Janet Napolitano's recent announcement to make the University of California system carbon neutral by 2025. With that in mind, employees responsible for maintaining the lawns at UC Riverside have agreed to pilot the students' device. That will likely start in the coming months.
The team, which calls itself NOx-Out, believes there is a market for the device for lawnmower manufacturers and current lawnmower owners, especially operators of landscape companies, who could retrofit their existing gasoline-powered lawnmower. The device has the added benefits of reducing noise from the lawnmower and the smell of gasoline.
The students Timothy Chow, Brian Cruz, Jonathan Matson and Wartini Ng, all of whom just graduated won a phase one grant of $15,000 as part of the EPA's P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) competition. Next year a new group of students Anna Almario, Priyanka Singh and Alyssa Yan will take over the project and compete for a $90,000 phase two grant.
All the students have been advised by Kawai Tam, a lecturer at the Bourns College of Engineering, Phillip Christo
|Contact: Sean Nealon|
University of California - Riverside