FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | October 15, 2018

American Chemical Society announces 2018 Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2018 —The American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI) congratulates the winners of the 2018 Green Chemistry Challenge Award: Chemetry Corporation; Merck Research Laboratories; Mari Signum Mid-Atlantic, LLC; Corteva Agriscience™ Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™; and Frank Gupton, Ph.D., and Tyler McQuade, Ph.D., of Virginia Commonwealth University.

The Green Chemistry Challenge Awards recognize companies and institutions that have developed a new chemical process or product that reduces waste and the use and generation of hazardous chemicals. The awards program began in 1996 in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

“These prestigious national awards honor chemical innovations that demonstrate leadership in sustainable practices,” says ACS Executive Director and CEO Thomas Connelly Jr., Ph.D. “We are proud to continue supporting this award program.”

The awards ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. today in the ballroom of the National Education Association’s building in Washington, D.C. There is one award for each of five categories: 

Academic Award – Frank Gupton and Tyler McQuade of Virginia Commonwealth University: Increasing Global Access to the High-volume HIV Drug Nevirapine through Process Intensification. Gupton and McQuade redesigned the process for creating this HIV drug, resulting in a 38% increase in yield and a reduction in waste generated. This novel process reduced the raw material cost by 30-40%. The new process was implemented through the Clinton Health Access Initiative in collaboration with two Chinese manufacturers resulting in a 9% reduction in the drug’s price.

Small Business Award – Chemetry Corporation: The eShuttle™ Technology for Propylene Oxide and Reducing CO2 Emissions in the PVC Supply Chain. This technology eliminates chlorine in the production of polyvinyl chloride (used to make PVC pipes, etc.), along with a chlorine-free method of producing propylene oxide, commonly used to make lightweight polyurethane foams and a variety of other valuable products. The eShuttle™ process reduces the power consumption of manufacturing propylene oxide by 60% compared to the conventional process, saving 10 million tonnes of CO2 per year. The new process also eliminates asbestos and mercury and removes the potential for the creation of chlorination byproducts associated with the current chlor-alkali process.  

Greener Synthetic Pathways – Merck Research Laboratories: A Sustainable Commercial Manufacturing Process for Doravirine from Commodity Chemicals. A new synthesis of this HIV drug reduces production materials by 81%, increases yield from 23% to 52% and reduces the cost of raw materials by 57%. A life cycle assessment revealed the carbon footprint and water usage were reduced by 88% and 90%, respectively.

Greener Reaction Conditions – Mari Signum Mid-Atlantic, LLC: A Practical Way to Mass Production of Chitin: The Only Facility in the U.S. to Use Ionic Liquid-Based Isolation Process. Mari Signum Mid-Atlantic, LLC, is commercializing a safe, environmentally friendly, low energy-demanding and overall less costly process to produce chitin from seafood waste. Chitin is used in a variety of applications, such as food processing, biodegradable plastics and biomedical applications. This zero-discharge process produces a very high-grade and pure chitin, making use of and monetizing this seafood processing waste.

The Design of Greener Chemicals – Corteva Agriscience™ Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™: Rinskor™ Active – Improving Rice Production While Reducing Environmental Impact. This herbicide uses a unique new chemistry that allows farmers to apply it in lower doses than prior herbicides, eliminating an expected 750,000 pounds of active herbicide ingredients in 2018. In addition, nearly the same amount of hydrocarbon solvents will be eliminated because the herbicide makes use of predominantly plant-derived and renewable solvents. In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted Rinskor™ the Reduced Risk Pesticide Designation in rice and aquatics.

An independent panel of technical experts convened by ACS GCI judged the awards. More information on the award and past winners is available at

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® is an institute of the American Chemical Society dedicated to catalyzing the implementation of green and sustainable chemistry and engineering throughout the global chemical enterprise and the Society. ACS GCI convenes industrial roundtables, holds an annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference (, and offers educational resources including grants, awards, webinars and workshops — encouraging scientific innovations to solve environmental and human health issues facing our world today.

The American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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