Boeing is providing a $212,000 research grant and recycled carbon fiber composite material to the Washington Stormwater Center for research work at Washington State University (WSU) to develop stronger permeable pavement.
The donation is part of a larger effort to reduce the flow of stormwater runoff and help filter pollutants from the water.
“Water is one of our most precious resources, and we need to treat it as such,” said Ursula English, vice president, Boeing Environment, Health & Safety. “We are pleased to provide recyclable composite material from our production line to assist in this vital and innovative research. Creating the opportunity to expand the use of permeable pavement is good for the environment and the communities in which we live and work.”
Washington mandates techniques to manage runoff from landscaping after storms where feasible, identifying permeable pavement as a solution.
The research work will involve using carbon fiber composites in porous pavement material in high-volume roadway applications. Currently, porous pavement is only recommended for parking lots and low-volume roads. Scientists also will test runoff water through this new pavement to see if any pollutants are added to the soil.
“We are excited to work with Boeing on this important project,” said John Stark, director of the Washington Stormwater Center. “If we find that this material safely strengthens permeable pavement, resulting in an increase in its use, this could be a game changer in terms of reducing the impact of pollutants in stormwater on the environment.”