Congratulations to Dow Chemical, BASF, Merck, Codexis and LS9 for winning this year's Presidential Green Chemistry awards given by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)!
Dow and BASF won EPA's Greener Synthetic Pathways Award for their joint development of Hydrogen Peroxide to Propylene Oxide (HPPO) process. The HPPO process is said to be more economical and has environmental benefits when compared to conventional propylene oxide process technologies.
The new HPPO process reduces wastewater by 70% to 80% and energy use by approximately 35%. There are no by-products produced besides water and PO plants using the HPPO technology require up to 25% less capital to build than conventional technologies.
Both Merck and Codexis received the Greener Reaction Conditions Award for their second-generation green synthesis of sitagliptin, the active ingredient in Januvia, a treatment for type 2 diabetes. The collaboration has lead to an enzymatic process that reduces waste, improves yield and safety, and eliminates the need for a metal catalyst. Early research suggests that the new biocatalysts will be useful in manufacturing other drugs as well.
LS9, meanwhile, won the Small Business Award for successfully scaling up its technology to produce UltraClean diesel at the pilot-plant level. LS9 has developed a platform technology to produce a wide variety of advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals cost-effectively by a simple, efficient, one-step fermentation process.
LS9 is actively developing the technology for the production of alkanes (diesel, jet fuel, gasoline), alcohols (surfactants), esters (biodiesel, chemical intermediates), olefins (lubricants, polymers), aldehydes (insulation, resins), and fatty acids (soaps, chemical intermediates). Specific product performance is enabled through the genetic control of each product's chain length, extent of saturation, and degree of branching. Unlike the competing biofuel processes, LS9's process does not require any metal catalysts.
Another awardee that are now in my radar is Clarke, a global environmental products and services company, who won the Designing Greener Chemicals Award. Clarke has developed a way to encapsulate spinosad in a plaster matrix, allowing it to be released slowly in water and provide effective control of mosquito larvae. This pesticide, NatularTM, replaces organophosphates and other traditional, toxic pesticides and is approved for use in certified organic farming.