For the 16th year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is recognizing pioneering chemical technologies developed by leading researchers and industrial innovators who are making significant contributions to pollution prevention in the United States. These prestigious awards recognize the design of safer and more sustainable chemicals, processes, and products that will protect Americans, particularly children, from exposure to harmful chemicals.
The awards will be made this evening, June 20, at the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. This year’s awards are significant because 2011 has been named the International Year of Chemistry and marks the 20th anniversary of EPA’s efforts in what would become the creation of green chemistry.
“EPA congratulates this year’s winners for designing and developing innovative green chemistry technologies that will result in safer chemicals for use in products, homes, schools, and workplaces that also have significant environmental and economic benefits,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards are bestowed in five categories. The 2011 award winners are:
- Academic: Bruce H. Lipshutz, PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara
- Small business: BioAmber, Inc., Plymouth, Minn.
- Greener synthetic pathways: Genomatica, San Diego, Calif.
- Greener reaction conditions: Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc., Houston, Texas
- Designing greener chemicals: The Sherwin-Williams Company, Cleveland, Ohio
By recognizing groundbreaking scientific solutions to real-world environmental problems, EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Program has significantly reduced the hazards associated with designing, manufacturing and using chemicals. The program promotes research and development of less-hazardous alternatives to existing technologies that reduce or eliminate waste, particularly hazardous waste, in industrial production.
An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute selected the 2011 winners from among scores of nominated technologies.
During the program’s life, EPA has received more than 1,400 nominations and presented awards to 82 winners. Winning technologies alone are responsible for reducing the use or generation of more than 199 million pounds of hazardous chemicals, saving 21 billion gallons of water, and eliminating 57 million pounds of carbon dioxide releases to the air. These benefits are in addition to significant energy and cost savings by the winners and their customers.
Source: EPA, press release, 2011-06-20.