This past Monday, June 21, at the Ronald Reagan Center in Washington, DC, EPA held the 2010 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards ceremony. This year’s winners include BASF; The Dow Chemical Company; Merck & Co., Inc.; Codexis, Inc.; Clarke; LS9, Inc.; and James C. Liao, Ph.D. Additional details regarding the Challenge Awards Program and this year’s winners are provided below.
Background on the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Program
For those readers that are less familiar with the Challenge Awards Program, EPA offers the following description on its website:
“The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Program is an opportunity for individuals, groups, and organizations to compete for annual awards in recognition of innovations in cleaner, cheaper, smarter chemistry. The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Program provides national recognition of outstanding chemical technologies that incorporate the principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture, and use, and that have been or can be utilized by industry in achieving their pollution prevention goals.
The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Program invites nominations that describe the technical benefits of a green chemistry technology as well as human health and environmental benefits. The Awards Program is open to individuals, groups, and nongovernmental organizations, both nonprofit and for profit. The nominated green chemistry technology must have reached a significant milestone within the past five years in the United States (e.g., been researched, demonstrated, implemented, applied, patented, etc.).
Nominations received for the awards are judged by an independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute. Typically five awards are given annually to industry and government sponsors, an academic investigator, and a small business.”
According to EPA, the awards are typically granted in the following five categories:
- Small Business: A small business* for a green chemistry technology in any of the three focus areas.
- Academic: An academic investigator for a technology in any of the three focus areas.
- Focus Area 1: An industry sponsor for a technology that uses greener synthetic pathways.
- Focus Area 2: An industry sponsor for a technology that uses greener reaction conditions.
- Focus Area 3: An industry sponsor for a technology that includes the design of greener chemicals.
* A small business is defined here as one with annual sales of less than $40 million, including all domestic and foreign sales by the company, its subsidiaries, and its parent company.
This Year’s Winners by Category
EPA’s website list this year’s winners, a summary of their innovations and their benefits, as well as a podcast overview of each innovation that is narrated by Dr. Richard Engler of EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. The winners include:
- Greener Synthetic Pathways Award
The Dow Chemical Company
Innovative, Environmentally Benign Production of Propylene Oxide via Hydrogen Peroxide (summary / podcast)
- Greener Reaction Conditions Award
Merck & Co., Inc.
Greener Manufacturing of Sitagliptin Enabled by an Evolved Transaminase (summary / podcast)
- Designing Greener Chemicals Award
NatularTM Larvicide: Adapting Spinosad for Next-Generation Mosquito Control (summary / podcast)
- Small Business Award
Microbial Production of Renewable PetroleumTM Fuels and Chemicals (summary / podcast)
- Academic Award
James C. Liao, Ph.D.
Easel Biotechnologies, LLC
University of California, Los Angeles
Recycling Carbon Dioxide to Biosynthesize Higher Alcohols (summary / podcast)