Dow Chemical, Cargill and Life Technologies have won the 2013 President Green Chemistry Challenge award for developing chemicals safer for public health and the environment.
The challenge awards are presented in five categories: academic, small business, greener synthetic pathways, greener reaction conditions and designing greener chemicals. An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute selected the 2013 winners from nominated technologies.
Life Technologies won the greener reaction conditions category for developing a more efficient, less wasteful way to make chemicals used to perform genetic testing. The new process prevents about 1.5 million pounds of hazardous waste per year.
Dow Chemical won the category for designing greener chemicals for improving TiO2-based paints. The company developed a technology, known as the Evoque pre-composite polymer technology, using a polymer coating that when applied to TiO2 improves dispersion of the pigment, decreasing the amount of chemical needed and allowing it to work better, the EPA says. The technology reduces energy use, water consumption, NOx and SOx emissions, and algae bloom. Dow Chemical has received the green chemistry award nine times, the company says.
Cargill won the greener synthetic pathways category for its vegetable oil-based transformer fluid designed to be less toxic, less flammable and perform better than mineral oil-based fluids. The product also has a lower carbon footprint, according to the EPA.
The small business award went to Faraday Technologies for its plating process, which allows chrome coatings to be made from less toxic trivalent chrome, reducing millions of pounds of hexavalent chromium without comprising performance for uses such as aircraft parts.
In the academic category, Richard Wool, a professor at the University of Delaware, was recognized for creating 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.
Winning technologies over the lifetime of the 18-year program 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, according to the EPA.
In the past, Sherwin-Williams has won the EPA green chemistry award for paints made from recycled soda bottles, among other materials. Other previous winners include Genomatica for developing a microbe that uses sugar fermentation to make 1,4-Butanediol (BDO), a high-volume chemical building block used to make many common polymers, such as spandex.