EPA Honors Advances at the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

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Contributed by Garine Isassi

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honored industrial pioneers and leading scientists in Green Chemistry this month by announcing the winners of the 2013 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge.

An awards ceremony was held at the EPA's Headquarters in Washington, D.C. on December 11, 2013.  Barbara Cunningham, Deputy Director of the EPA, welcomed those in attendance. Dr. Kent Voorhees, ACS Green Chemistry Institute® Governing Board Chair and member of the ACS Board of Directors, delivered an address discussing the scientific achievements being honored this year. Mr. James Jones, EPA's Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Jim Jones, delivered a Congratulatory Address. Awards were then presented to the winners.


The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards are presented in five categories: academic, small business, greener synthetic pathways, greener reaction conditions and designing greener chemicals.

The winners are:

Academic Category - Professor Richard Wool, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware

Wool created several materials from less toxic and renewable biobased feedstocks such as vegetable oils, chicken feathers and flax that can be used as adhesives, composites, foams, and even circuit boards and as a leather substitute.

Small Business - Faraday Technology Inc., Clayton, Ohio

Faraday developed a plating process that allows chrome coatings to be made from less toxic trivalent chrome. This reduces millions of pounds of hexavalent chromium without comprising performance for uses such as aircraft parts.

Greener Reaction Conditions - Life Technologies, Austin, Texas

Life Technologies developed a more efficient, much less wasteful way to manufacture the key chemicals used to perform genetic testing. The new process prevents about 1.5 million pounds of hazardous waste a year.

Designing Greener Chemicals - The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan

Dow improved TiO2-based paints.  Dow’s EVOQUE™ technology uses a polymer coating that, when applied to TiO2, improves dispersion of the pigment, decreasing the amount of the chemical needed and allowing it to work better. This technology will significantly reduce energy usage, water consumption, NOx and SOx emissions, and algae bloom.

Greener Synthetic Pathways - Cargill, Inc., Brookfield, Wisconsin

Cargill developed a vegetable oil-based transformer fluid that is much less flammable, less toxic, provides superior performance compared to mineral oil-based fluids and has a lower carbon footprint.

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI) hosted a reception for the winners following the ceremony.

"These green technologies can help make consumer products safer for all Americans while reducing costs to manufacturers by reducing hazardous wastes and improving energy efficiency," said Jim Jones, "EPA congratulates the 2013 winners, and looks forward to continuing to work with them as their technologies are adopted in the marketplace."

An independent panel of technical experts convened by the ACS GCI selected the 2013 winners.

Over the past 18 years, EPA has received about 1500 nominations and presented awards to 93 technologies. The winning technologies alone are responsible for reducing the use or generation of more than 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals, saving 21 billion gallons of water, and eliminating 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent releases to air.

Congratulations to the winners!

More information: http://www2.epa.gov/green-chemistry

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