Monday, August 21, 2017

Nominations close Thursday for EPA’s 2016 green chemistry award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking nominations until Thursday  for its 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards, which recognize companies or institutions that have developed a process or product that better protects public health and the environment.

Through this program, the EPA aims to promote the environmental and economic benefits of using novel green technologies in chemical design, manufacturing and usage, Cathy Milbourn, an agency spokeswoman,  told EP News Wire.

Since the program’s inception more than 20 years ago, the EPA reports that it has received more than 1,500 nominations and presented awards for 104 new technologies.

In turn, these award-winning technologies have reduced more than 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals and solvents, saved 21 billion gallons of water, and eliminated 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide releases, according to the EPA.

“We have seen creative innovations making our manufacturing processes and products better and safer,” Jim Jones, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said. “Our efforts to speed the adoption of revolutionary and diverse disciplines have led to significant environmental benefits, innovation and a strengthened economy."

Jones also said that the EPA continues to work with the 2015 winners as their technologies are adopted in the marketplace.

For example, SOLTEX (Synthetic Oils and Lubricants of Texas) in Houston was recognized earlier this year for developing a new chemical reaction process that eliminates the use of water and reduces hazardous chemicals in the production of additives for lubricants and gasoline. 

If widely used, the SOLTEX technology has the potential to eliminate millions of gallons of wastewater per year and reduce the use of a hazardous chemical by 50 percent, the EPA says.

Renmatix in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, also was another 2015 winner. The company was recognized for developing a process using super-critical water to more cost effectively break down plant material into sugars used as building blocks for renewable chemicals and fuels.

The low-cost Renmatix process could result in a sizeable increase in the production of plant-based chemicals and fuels, and reduce the dependence on petroleum fuels, the EPA says.

This year, the EPA is sponsoring the 21st Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards in partnership with the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute and members of the chemical community, including industry, trade associations and academic institutions.

Awards are slated to be made in June. The EPA expects to give five awards for outstanding green chemistry technologies in traditional categories and a sixth award for a green chemistry technology that addresses climate change. The award areas include: greener synthetic pathways; greener reaction conditions; greener chemical products; and the design of greener chemicals. Small businesses and academic researchers are eligible for an award if they develop a technology in any of the three focus areas.

In addition, the EPA will recognize technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions under its Specific Environmental Benefit: Climate Change category.

For information on how to submit entries, go online to: www2.epa.gov.

Organizations in this story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20460

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