• Swanson School of Engineering
  • Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
Accolades & Honors

Undergraduate Ethan Arnold-Paine Wins De Nora Student Pitch Competition

Ethan Arnold-Paine, an undergraduate studying chemical engineering, won the top prize at the De Nora Student Pitch Competition.

Arnold-Paine presented a closed-cycle PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances) remediation system that uses a fast-growing plant—such as bamboo or cattails—to absorb the PFAS from contaminated water as it is run through a hydroponic system. After a growth cycle, the plants would be harvested and sent to a biomass furnace to be turned into char. The char then could be recycled as a filter bed, creating little waste.

Arnold-Paine was competing against graduate students from top-tier research universities from around the world. As a winner of the competition, Arnold-Paine received a cash prize as well as the opportunity to intern with De Nora.

“For Ethan to be as poised and prepared as he was in the midst of such tough competition is a remarkable achievement,” said David Sanchez, whose lab is developing the PFAS system. “He was an excellent standard-bearer for our lab and the work we’re doing to sustainably clean up the environment, and I look forward to all the ideas and innovations he’ll surely bring to other lab projects and the field.”

Read more about the competition.