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Reviewing New Chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

P2 Recognition Project

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The P2 (Pollution Prevention) Recognition Project honors companies for developing innovative chemistry and technologies that further pollution prevention and other environmental goals. EPA believes that by recognizing these companies it gives them and other companies engaged in similar work a positive incentive to create new, safer chemicals and technologies.

EPA's New Chemicals Program, which screens up to 2,500 chemicals a year, identifies the chemicals proposed for P2 Recognition Project awards through the Premanufacture Notice (PMN) P2 screening process, as described in the PMN Instruction Manual as well as during more detailed new chemical reviews. The New Chemicals Program also includes the Biotechnology Program, which reviews new (i.e., intergeneric) microorganisms. The P2 Recognition Project relies heavily on information contained in the PMN on P2 aspects of the new chemicals or biotech product, although supplemental information has also been considered.

Learn more about the P2 Recognition Project in the Premanufacture Notice Instruction Manual.

Learn more about Pollution Prevention.

Criteria for P2 Recognition

In selecting products to recognize under the program, EPA looks for:

  • Safer substitutes for existing products,
  • Chemicals/biotechnology products that are less toxic, as demonstrated by test data on the new product itself,
  • Products that have fewer associated toxic chemicals, e.g., feedstocks, byproducts, impurities, etc.,
  • Products that result in pollution prevention and source reduction,
  • Products that use recycling processes that reduce exposures or releases,
  • Environmentally beneficial uses of products, and/or
  • Products that conserve energy and water during their manufacture, processing or use.

Finally, the Agency seeks to recognize real commercial successes; thus, we require that the company commence manufacture of the PMN substance in order to receive the award.

P2 Recognition Project Awardees:

P2 1996 Awardees

In 1996, the Agency recognized the following accomplishments in pollution prevention:

Genencor--Biotechnology pathway to environmentally friendly manufacture of indigo dye which is used to color blue jeans, among other things. Genencor's process uses an intergeneric microorganism, glucose and other microbial nutrients instead of hazardous reagents including aniline, formaldehyde and hydrocyanic acid to create this commercially important dye. Eliminating the use of such hazardous chemical feedstocks via replacement with a more environmentally friendly process reduces exposures, releases, and risks otherwise associated with the traditional starting materials.

Union Carbide--Innovative surfactant (detergent) for use in industrial settings that can be chemically split and its surfactancy completely eliminated prior to environmental release; furthermore, the splitting process results in two non-polluting fragments or byproducts. Union Carbide developed the splittable surfactant to meet customer needs at industrial laundry and metalworking operations for a product that would satisfy the effluent composition limits of publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). Now customers can use this new technology to reduce biological oxygen demand and fats, oils, and grease in their effluent, as opposed to using other more toxic surfactants or simply diluting the effluent to meet POTW requirements.

In addition, there are collateral P2 benefits, which include: less solid waste is generated; that solid waste is higher in organic content and can therefore be put to a more beneficial use as fuel; and use and discharge of phosphates reduced. A government/industry partnership was implemented to ensure that splitting is, in fact, the practice so the full benefits of this promising technology are realized.

Conrad Industries--Innovative chemistry/process for recycling hard-to-recycle post-consumer plastics. Conrad Industries' new technology has the potential to advance plastics recycling to include many plastics not currently recycled, and represents a significant innovation in the chemistry for advanced plastics recycling, chemically converting post-consumer plastics into fuel-grade petroleum feedstocks. This process provides advantages over conventional plastics recycling in that the sorting of different plastics in the waste stream is not necessary and the process yields a consistent quality petroleum end product.

Conrad Industries' technology uses pyrolysis to convert used plastic into original monomer-like substances, i.e., a quality petroleum end product with consistent characteristics which can be readily used at petroleum refineries for further refining into gases, oils and cokes. The result is that this technology creates the opportunity to recycle many materials that currently are landfilled, as it is intended to work alongside the traditional curbside plastics recycling by addressing mixed post-consumer plastics, greatly expanding the amount of waste plastics that can be recycled. Also, Agency-negotiated pyrolysis parameters limit emissions of undesired components from the conversion process, including dioxins and furans.

Engelhard--Manufacture of new yellow pigment to replace heavy metal and diaryl-based formulations. This innovation is expected to reduce human and environmental exposure to the heavy metals lead and chromium and to diaryl compounds and byproducts including dichlorobenzidene, which are used in other yellow pigments. A shift to this new product would lower the risk to society of adverse health effects associated with the use and release of heavy metals or benzidine derivatives. Although the Agency retains concern for the aromatic amines components of Engelhard's product, it strongly supports this innovative chemistry.

Huls America--Development of non-phosgene process to manufacture isocyanates. Isocyanates are typically manufactured using phosgene, a highly toxic and dangerous gas. Huls America's new phosgene-free process avoids the many health and environmental hazards related to the use of phosgen. Also, the process yields a blocked isocyanate intermediate, which can be stored, handled and transported more safely than other isocyanates. Although the Agency has concerns for potential human health effects associated with the isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI) that is the end product, as well as for other isocyanates, it strongly supports this alternative synthesis process and its health and environmental benefits.

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P2 2005 Awardees

American Acryl LP - Reduction or elimination of manufacturing process streams being released to hazardous waste streams or otherwise being released to the environment. Process streams that had been sent as hazardous waste for treatment off-site are converted to useful products thereby reducing the quantity of hazardous waste released to the environment. The result is a source reduction with a product that reduces the generation of subsequent solid waste during its use. American Acryl LP has reduced the quantity of waste material that must be managed by millions of pounds. (Verbiage submitted by Company for website received April 18, 2005)

The Archer Daniels Midland Company - Development of a reactive coalescent that does not contribute to VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions when tested, according to EPA Method 24, for use in commercial/ retail coating formulations. In order to meet demanding State and Federal VOC regulations, Archer RC has been developed to reduce the amount of volatile organics being emitted into the atmosphere arising from currently used, petroleum-based coalescents. Archer RC achieves this by becoming integrated into the coating as it cures. The exposure to hazardous volatile substances by consumer and commercial operators will be reduced when paints and coatings that utilize Archer RC as the coalescent are used.

Archer RC is made from renewable and biodegradable corn or sunflower oil. Verbiage submitted by the Company for the P2 Website on May 11, 2005)

Givaudan Fragrances Corporation - The PMN chemical was the result of a research project focused on the synthesis and subsequent commercial development of safer alternatives to existing fragrance molecules. The molecule targeted for replacement had been found to have genotoxicity concerns in certain studies. For this reason, its use was becoming more and more restricted.

The PMN chemical was designed to eliminate that portion of the molecule believed to be responsible for its negative biological activity. Similar studies, when conducted with the PMN chemical, were favorable. Thus, the PMN chemical would provide an overall reduction in risk to human health.

An added benefit for the environment derives from the fact the PMN chemical is very intense. This dramatic increase in odor intensity compared to the targeted molecule means less is required to achieve the same effect. The net result is a reduction in environmental burden. (Verbiage submitted by the Company for the P2 website on July 5, 2005.)

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P2 2006 Awardees

Bio Based Technologies (Bio Based Chemicals, LLC) -- Bio Based Chemicals is focused on the development of biobased polyols, derived from renewable vegetable oils. These environmentally friendly products are substitutes for many petroleum based polyols, used in a wide range of polyurethane applications (flexible foams, rigid foams, coatings, adhesives, and elastomers). Unlike petroleum based polyols, Agrol is derived from soybean oil and has a 96% biobased content.

In a BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) Life Cycle modeling study conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and funded by the United Soybean Board, it was shown that for every pound of soy based polyols (such as Agrol) produced in place of petroleum based polyols, there was a beneficial impact of 5.6 pounds CO2 to the atmosphere. Global warming potential is one of the 12 environmental impacts used in the BEES model.

HALOX -- The HALOX product is a non-toxic corrosion inhibitor for paint and coatings including primers (industrial maintenance, original equipment manufacture, and automotive refinishing) as well as glossy direct-to-metal coatings. This substance does not contain chromium, which is toxic and carcinogenic. This invention meets the demands for a non-toxic corrosion inhibitor without hazardous components such as metal phosphates and nitrites, both of which pose a serious risk when discharged to the environment.

In addition to eliminating toxic materials, this substance dissolves in water which reduces the amount of volatile organic compounds emitted by most coatings.

Innospec Fuel Specialties (formerly Octel Starreon) -- Innospec Fuel Specialties has developed additives which reduce the sulfur level in fuels and enable them to comply with EPA's "Final Rule on Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards and Highway Diesel Sulfur Control Requirements."

The new emission standards for highway diesel vehicles will begin to take effect in 2007. These regulations mandate progressive middle distillate desulfurization and include a requirement for 15ppm Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel (USLD) to be introduced in on-road transport applications from June 1, 2006. This reduced sulfur level will have two major environmental impacts: to directly reduce particulate levels and to also protect emission control devices in exhaust after-treatment systems.

This new technology will also benefit non-road diesel engines used in construction, agricultural and industrial operations under new EPA proposed new emission standards. This will entail a more than 99% reduction in the sulfur content in fuel used by on-road and non-road diesel engines and a consequent reduction in particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels of more than 90%. These changes are expected to improve the air quality for Americans nationwide.

Solutia Inc. -- Carboxymethyl inulin (CMI), developed by Solutia and Royal Cosun, is an alternative to petrochemical derived polyacrylates used in industrial and oil field water treatment. In 2005, Solutia began importing CMI under the trade name Dequest PB.

Based on inulin, an oligosaccharide harvested from the roots of chicory, CMI combines good biodegradability with very low toxicity. CMI can be applied in many applications and can be used to replace or reduce the need for less-favorable alternatives such as poorly biodegradable synthetic acrylic-based polymers and nitrogen or phosphorous compounds. The company hopes that inulin will become the substrate of choice for a whole range of functional chemicals having different performance characteristics, ultimately replacing thousands of tons of compounds that are less biodegradable and more toxic to the earth's environment.

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P2 2007 Awardees

BASF Corp. -- Micronal® PCM (phase change materials), developed by BASF, reduce energy needs for cooling and heating buildings.

These innovative materials -- available in both powder and liquid form -- are inserted into building construction materials typically during manufacturing. Micronal® PCM materials are microscopic polymer capsules containing pure wax at their core. These low-weight and low-volume materials have proven their effectiveness by providing a high thermal storage capacity to building construction materials such as wall plasters, wall paints, gypsum plasterboard, and concrete blocks.

For example, in summer months when room temperatures typically rise, wax inside the mircocapsules melts, absorbing excess heat from the air. This reduces the need for mechanical temperature control, e.g., running an air-conditioning system, and also reduces carbon dioxide emissions from the energy consumed to regulate building temperatures.

Chisso America, Inc. -- Chisso's epsilon polylysine product is a biodegradable and very safe compound used as an additive in cleaning solutions for electric shaving razors.

The use of epsilon polylysine is an alternative to conventional cleaning solutions that contain surfactants and detergents in an alcoholic solution. Using epsilon polylysine in electric razor cleaning solutions eliminates the environmental burden introduced by alcohol-based cleaning solutions because consumers typically rinse the used solution down their sinks.

In fact, epsilon polylysine earned "Generally Recognized as Safe or GRAS" recognition from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as a food preservative. Another compelling finding about epsilon polylysine's safety is toxicological studies have verified that it is safe even if accidentally consumed.

Clariant Corp. -- The new Clariant Corp. product "Cartaspers PSM" provides an effective alternative to the use of volatile solvents, such as mineral spirits, for the production of tissue and other paper products.

Cartaspers PSM is used to clean paper-making machines and is noted for its use as an alternative for the control of "stickies" -- a term used to describe a frequent operational problem when using post-consumer waste for the production of paper products. This new substance reduces: a) worker exposure to volatile solvents; b) the potential for air emissions of volatile organic compounds; and c) the demand on water and energy resources by improving paper machine operational efficiency.

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P2 2008 Awardees

Clariant Corp. -- The new efficient flame retardant Exolit® OP560, developed by Clariant Corp., does not pose public health risks associated with traditional halogenated flame retardants, including risks to fetal development and toxicity issues.

Exolit® OP560 does not produce dangerous halogenated by-products upon degradation or combustion. This new halogen-free flame retardant is applied at lower doses than traditional flame retardants on polyurethane foams in furniture, automobiles and other consumer products. To create this technology, Clariant Corp. condensed the phase of the combustion cycle and contained by-products within the char layer, eliminating corrosive gases and reducing smoke density.

Cognis Corp. -- Cognis Corp. developed a cationic surfactant, Dehyquart L-80, an effective anti-static conditioner for fabric softeners that is biodegradable and less toxic to fish and other aquatic life than traditional cationic surfactants.

Dehyquart L-80 uses propylene glycol as an alternative to volatile organic compounds used in other surfactants. Propylene glycol is listed as a food additive, confirming the safety of using this material on garments worn next to the skin. In addition to its use in fabric softeners, Dehyquart L-80 is used as a wax in vehicles causing the beading of water droplets and as a spray for dust mops, allowing the fast and effective removal of dust and dirt from polished floors.

Colonial Chemical, Inc. -- Colonial Chemical developed Suga®Nate, a sulfonated surfactant used in extremely mild, gentle cleansers that is biodegradable and soluble in water.

This product, based on the naturally derived, sustainable material alkyl polyglucoside, is safe for humans and the environment, and can substitute for petroleum-derived and other surfactants that have a higher potential for irritation. Suga®Nate combines the advantages of high-foaming power, good emulsification and mildness to the skin to give the formulator flexibility to prepare light- and heavy-duty cleaners.

Suga®Nate is used in hand cleaners, personal care products, shampoo, a bubble bath for children, and a pet shampoo.

Vitech International Ltd. -- Vitech International, Ltd. developed Videt ALB, an acid salt technology, to replace hydrofluoric acid in a variety of cleaning applications, including touchless (i.e., automated) vehicle washing, wheel cleaning and aluminum cleaning and brightening.

While Videt ALB is a strong acid, it does not cause the severe health effects associated with hydrofluoric acid exposure and is classified as a skin non-irritant that does not fume, minimizing respiratory irritation. Further, Videt ALB has been shown not to accumulate in the body if it is inadvertently ingested.

Videt ALB does not etch glass, and the rapid breakdown of road films simplifies alkaline washing, the second step in touchless vehicle washing. It brightens aluminum by removing aluminum oxides and, when formulated properly, it will not discolor aluminum due to overexposure. For wheel cleaning, Videt ALB is excellent at the removal of brake dust and staining. Videt ALB provides performance capabilities achieved previously only by more aggressive acid (like hydrofluoric) associated with health and safety risks.

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P2 2010 Awardees

Archer Daniels Midland Company -- Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) produces renewable chemicals from new varieties of high-oleic (HO) canola seed bred by Dow AgroSciences to contain lower levels of the oxidative components linolenic and linoleic acid. ADM processes and isolates the oil for food and industrial applications. The unique profile of HO canola oil enhances the oxidative stability and high temperature tolerance of a renewable and biodegradable feed stock suitable for industrial applications.

The increased oxidative stability assists in reducing the formation of insoluble varnishes and residues typically formed from other renewable-source oil blends. Use of HO canola oil in biobased hydraulic fluids and machine lubricants has the potential to increase service durability, reducing waste oil generation.

Other industrial applications might include metalworking fluids, greases, motor and gear oils, marine and automotive, polyols, plastics, foams, adhesives and as a source for traditional oleo chemical products. The introduction of HO canola oil also allows for the continued development of biodegradable mechanical fluids required to meet U.S. and E.U. minimum biobased content standards.

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