Contributed by Ryan Littich, Scientist, Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc.
As a scientist at Elevance, I work with my colleagues to demonstrate to our potential customers and partners the advantages of using our novel, high-performance specialty chemicals that perform better and are made from renewable feedstocks at our world-scale joint venture biorefinery with Wilmar International in Gresik, Indonesia (pictured below). What makes the work especially impactful is that we exemplify the tenets of green chemistry on a daily basis.
For example, our production facility in Indonesia leverages a Nobel-Prize winning catalytic olefin cross metathesis in a low-pressure, low-temperature process to transform renewable oils without the use of extraneous protective groups into specialty chemicals that carry the safe handling and biodegradability virtues of the renewable feedstocks from which they originated.
At our central R&D facility in Woodridge, Ill., we develop products that reflect our sustainability-oriented approach. In June, we launched Elevance Clean™ 1200 — a powerful, low vapor pressure (LVP-VOC, VOC-exempt) and biorenewable solvent — to offset petroleum distillates and terpenes that are environmentally embattled in the industrial degreasing market. As an occupational backdrop to its development, our labs were pitted against one another in a friendly competition to consistently place hoods in setback mode and shut off lights while not in use. Through the first month of the Fume Hood Energy Conservation Challenge, the R&D group drove down site energy usage by 20 percent.
My colleagues and I continue to drive the commercial success of meaningful, high-performance products. I’m satisfied knowing that, while I aim to tackle tough problems for our customers, independently and together with our partners, Elevance is making a measurable, positive impact on the world around us.
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