Two research teams at UC Riverside were each awarded $15,000 in federal funds for projects focused on pollution controls for wood-burning stoves and using hemp fibers to create a variant of concrete, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday.

The agency disbursed the two grants under its People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) program.

“EPA’s P3 grants program supports the next generation of scientists and engineers,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said. “These students are able to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to real world environmental problems that require innovative solutions.”

The first student-led research team is working on a technology intended to reduce indoor and outdoor pollutants produced by wood stoves, according to the EPA. The goal, specifically, is to create an “inexpensive” system that can be marketed to economically disadvantaged communities, the agency said.

The second team will use its grant to study the effectiveness of replacing conventional concrete with a product composed of hemp fiber properties, known as “hempcrete,” which would be “lighter, stronger and more environmentally friendly” than concrete, according to the EPA.

Mike Stoker, who heads the agency’s Pacific Southwest Office, expressed hope that the UCR teams’ research would “create environmental solutions that move us toward a sustainable future.”

No research timeline or milestone dates were listed.

More information about the EPA grant program is available at

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