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EPA Honors Winners of the 2019 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

Innovative technologies decrease hazardous chemicals, reduce costs, and spur economic growth

06/06/2019
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WASHINGTON—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that turn potential environmental challenges into business opportunities, spurring innovation and economic development.

“We congratulate the award winners and creators of these remarkable technologies that will help American businesses by reducing costs and opening up new markets for cleaner and safer products and services,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These technologies support economic growth and protect public health by reducing hazardous chemicals and conserving energy and water.”

The Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners will be honored on Monday, June 10 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The winners and their innovative technologies being recognized are:

-       Professor Sanjoy Banerjee, City University of New York Energy Institute, in partnership with Urban Electric Power, Inc., Sandia National Laboratories, and Brookhaven National Laboratory, for creating large-scale zinc-manganese oxide batteries that can be recharged thousands of times without the typical decrease in the length of the battery’s lifetime. These batteries do not have some of the limitations of lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries, and they use materials that are abundant and common in existing supply chains.

-       Kalion, Inc., Milton, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for commercializing the first microbial fermentation process to produce glucaric acid, which offers the possibility of replacing environmentally polluting chemicals with a biodegradable, non-toxic, sugar-derived product. Kalion is initially using it as a corrosion inhibitor for water treatment plants.

-       Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey, for redesigning manufacturing of the antibiotic ZerbaxaTM. This new process reduces process material by 75%, reduces raw material costs by 50%, and increases the overall yield by more than 50%. Additionally, energy usage is expected to be reduced by 38%, and water savings are estimated to be 3.7 million gallons annually.

-       WSI, Loveland, Ohio, for developing TRUpathTM technology, a successful alternative to traditional commercial laundering technologies that use harsh and harmful chemicals. TRUpathTM uses more readily biodegradable surfactants in, and eliminates phosphates from, wash formulas.

During the 23 years of the program, EPA has received more than 1,600 nominations and presented awards to 118 technologies that decrease hazardous chemicals and resources, reduce costs, protect public health and spur economic growth. Winning technologies are responsible for annually reducing the use or generation of hundreds of millions of pounds of hazardous chemicals and saving billions of gallons of water and trillions of BTUs in energy.

An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute formally judged the 2019 submissions and made recommendations to EPA for the 2019 winners. The 2019 awards event will be held in conjunction with the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference.

More information: www.epa.gov/greenchemistry.