Navigation Links
Wayne State receives grant to reduce emissions of toxins by power plants into Great Lakes

DETROIT A team of Wayne State University researchers are working on a technology that could quickly and significantly reduce the emission of mercury and other toxic substances by power plants into the Great Lakes basin.

Carol Miller, Ph.D., P.E., professor of civil and environmental engineering at Wayne State University's College of Engineering, and co-Director of the Urban Watershed Environmental Research Group (UWERG) at WSU, recently received a two-year, $557,000 grant from the Great Lakes Protection Fund for the project, titled "Real-Time Energy Impact Monitors for Residential, Industrial and Policy Use."

Her team will refine, test and market a novel technology that interacts with power grids to precisely estimate the emissions associated with current power uses and signals when cleaner forms of energy are available. That technology, Locational Emissions Estimation Methodology (LEEM), was pioneered in a project previously supported by the fund.

LEEM gleans information from independent system operators, which operate regional power grids, to determine in real time the fuel sources (such as coal, natural gas, nuclear power and wind) used to generate electricity and the emissions from those sources, and then provides users the ability to reduce emissions by changing the timing of their electricity use.

"No matter where you are or what time of day, this technology will be able to tell you the marginal emissions associated with electricity use for car battery recharging, dishwasher use, clothes dryer cycling and other common activities," Miller said. "That's important for consumers to know, because energy use and damaging emissions are not directly related. Without the information regarding real-time emissions, you might make decisions to reduce energy use at certain times in hopes of reducing polluting emissions, while actually shifting your use to a time where the emissions are more detrimental to the environment."

In previous work with the fund, Miller's team developed a fully functional alpha version of LEEM and deployed it in two distinct software products: Home Emissions Read-Out (HERO) and Pollutant Emission and Pump Station Optimization (PEPSO).

HERO is a smart phone and web application that turns individual users into active participants in emissions optimization by giving them real-time emissions estimations that allow them to selectively time their own electricity use. PEPSO is a software program designed to optimize pump operations at water utilities by using an existing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hydraulic model in combination with a team-designed optimization algorithm that incorporates LEEM.

Miller's previous project involved designing algorithms that automatically direct pumps to operate at times when the electric power grid is supplied by the cleanest available sources of energy, and avoid times when it is supplied by more polluting sources. The software was pilot tested using the DWSD water distribution system.

The current project will explore the potential for embedding LEEM technology into "smart" appliances and building systems, integrating it into the electric vehicle market, and working with regulators to incorporate it into energy standards and programs. Miller's team will refine and pilot the LEEM technology, research the market with help from manufacturers and trade organizations, engage customers, and develop a marketing strategy for large-scale adoption of the technology. If successful, the future will see LEEM embedded in a suite of products and services.

"This technology focuses on demand-side management of energy usage and puts choices in the hands of consumers," Miller said. "Even if you don't have an interest in the environment per se, businesses and water utilities can still use LEEM to be savvier about their emissions because of potential future regulations. And for individual consumers, some big home electricity uses such as charging electric cars are coming online very soon."

Miller said the project's environmental benefits could be felt in the very near future around the eight-state Great Lakes region, with possible expansion of the methodology to the rest of the United States and Canada.


Contact: Julie O'Connor
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research

Related biology news :

1. Wayne State University researchers program targets safer river fishing, anglers health
2. Wayne State researchers working to improve genetic analysis, disorder detection
3. Wayne State receives $2.8 million grant from US Administration for Children and Families
4. New book on physics principles by Wayne State professor explains life as we know it
5. High-strength material advancements at Wayne State University may lead to new, life-saving steel
6. Cancer risk for African-American women with benign breast disease factors Wayne State finds
7. Wayne State University researchers techniques enable more, faster testing of biological liquids
8. Wayne State study shows airborne dust in urban areas impacts lead levels in children
9. Wayne State vision restoration technology receives Notice of Allowance for US patent app
10. Wayne State University startup, Advaita, to participate in new Michigan I-Corps program
11. Wayne State welcomes undergraduates from around the US for physics research experience
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... 12, 2015  A golden retriever that stayed healthy ... (DMD) has provided a new lead for treating this ... Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the University ... Cell, pinpoints a protective gene ... disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab of Lou ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   Growing ... reliable analytical tools has been paving the way ... qualitative determination of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, ... are being predominantly used in medical applications, however, ... environmental sectors due to continuous emphasis on improving ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... LONDON , Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... segmented on the basis of product, type, ... segments included in this report are consumables, ... this report are safety biomarkers, efficacy biomarkers, ... in this report are diagnostics development, drug ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris ... of IIROC on behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, ... release there are no corporate developments that would cause ... --> --> About Aeterna ... . --> Aeterna Zentaris is a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), ... MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing ... AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... (the "Company") announced today that the remaining 11,000 ... Common Share Purchase Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") ... agreement were exercised on November 23, 2015, which ... Common Shares.  After giving effect to the issuance ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... customer, OrthoAccel® Technologies, Inc., on being named to Deloitte's 2015 Technology Fast 500 ... Texas facility, OrthoAccel manufactures AcceleDent®, a FDA-cleared, Class II medical device that speeds ...
Breaking Biology Technology: