Amyris, Solazyme, QD Vision and the Solberg Company have won EPA awards for their green chemistry technologies.
The winners of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards have brought products to market that reduce energy, chemicals and water waste while cutting manufacturing costs, says Jim Jones, the EPA’s assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention.
In the small business category:
Amyris won an award for engineering yeast to make a farnesane-based drop-in renewable fuel replacement for petroleum diesel. Making and burning this fuel could reduce 82 percent of greenhouse gas emissions as compared to petroleum diesel, saving tens of thousands of dollars each year, the agency says.
Amyris has been supplying its renewable diesel to more than 400 public transit buses in Brazil. Earlier this year, in coordination with Total and Amyris, Lufthansa, Air France and GOL made the first commercial flights using a blend of 10 percent farnesane.
In the greener reaction conditions, designing greener chemicals, and greener synthetic pathways categories:
Solazyme won an award for developing novel oils from sugar and engineered algae in a way that significantly reduces the environmental effects that typically occur in producing and processing petroleum-based or plant-based oils. Soaps, laundry detergents, food products, fuels and industrial products can now be produced with greatly reduced energy, water and waste, saving money. The company’s palm-oil equivalent can help reduce deforestation and greenhouse gases that can occur from cultivation of palm oil.
QD Vision won an award for developing a process to make more efficient LED lighting and displays for TVs and mobile devices with less environmental impacts and waste. The new LED lighting material may make it possible to save 36 percent of TV energy costs. Using their technology in just 10 percent of flat-screen TVs can save 600 million kWh worldwide every year, the EPA says. Additionally, producing these materials avoids using an estimated 40,000 gallons of solvents per year.
The Solberg Company won an award for developing a safer foam using surfactants and sugars that can fight fires better than traditional foams that rely on persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals. One of the world’s largest oil and gas companies will be using this foam to fight fuel fires and spills.
In the academic category:
Professor Shannon Stahl, University of Wisconsin-Madison, won an award for discovering a way to safely and efficiently use oxygen instead of hazardous chemicals in a step commonly used to make medicine. If brought to market, these methods could have a big impact on the industry, reducing chemicals and waste, and saving companies time and money, the EPA says.
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