EPA Awards Walnut Creek High School Student For Microplastic Filtration Solution

May 22, 2018 14:00 pm · 15 comments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a freshman at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek for creating an innovative solution to microplastic pollution.

Melanie Quan was selected from a pool of 1,793 students who competed in the Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh beginning on May 13.

Her project is titled “Microplastics, Macro Problem,” and aims to filter microplastics out of water using sustainable, low-cost technology.

Microplastics are tiny plastic pieces smaller than 5 millimeters that can be harmful to aquatic life, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Quan’s project suggests using a modified electrostatic smoke precipitator, a filtration system, to minimize microfibers in everything from laundry loads to commercial and industrial waste.

“I can’t believe I won a special award from the EPA,” Quan said in a statement. “What an honor!”

She said she hopes her project is an inspiration to other people who want to find solutions for microplastic pollution.

With the award, Quan will receive funding to present her project at the EPA National Design Expo next year in Washington, D.C.

Simonpure May 22, 2018 at 2:10 PM

Awesome Job!

Reality says... May 22, 2018 at 2:27 PM

Maybe she can design a homeless and drug abuser filtration system for BART.

Nature Lover May 22, 2018 at 4:19 PM

Good one!

Shoulda Coulda May 22, 2018 at 2:54 PM

Congratulations young lady!
I don’t understand a thing about your solution,
but I wish you good luck with its success.

AlwaysBePositive May 22, 2018 at 2:55 PM

…and the children shall lead us. Thank you Melanie, keep up the great work!

JoelC May 22, 2018 at 3:10 PM

Amazing! Congrats! The planet and eco system thank you!

Clayton Squirrel May 22, 2018 at 3:23 PM

Congratulations! This is terrific!

Dorothy May 22, 2018 at 3:41 PM

Great news! Both for her and our environment. I hope she gets a patent on it before some corporation takes it over and buries it.

Las Lomas Alum May 22, 2018 at 3:51 PM

Great job Melanie!
Very proud of you and your accomplishment.
Get your technology patented!

The Mamba May 22, 2018 at 3:52 PM

Pfffft, I’ve been talking about modified electrostatic smoke precipitators for years.

Nature Lover May 22, 2018 at 4:21 PM

Congrats to Melanie. You made us proud.

Silva May 22, 2018 at 5:12 PM

I needed some wonderful news! A solution to a very real, very BAD problem. Excellent work there, Melanie!

Shasta Daisy May 22, 2018 at 6:05 PM

My kinda girl!!

Side note:
Bottled water sold in plastic should be banned, we lived without it for years.


Science Spice May 22, 2018 at 6:50 PM

You GO gurl!

Vindex May 22, 2018 at 9:52 PM

This girl is brilliant

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