FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | June 06, 2022

Green Chemistry Challenge Awards honor innovators

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2022 — Scientific innovations that result in greener and more sustainable products are being honored today with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The awards ceremony and reception will take place at 6:15 p.m. ET on Monday, June 6, during the Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference.

“As the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards prove, more sustainable alternatives to traditional chemistries and chemical technologies that meet or exceed the performance requirements of existing products and processes can and are being developed,” comments Thomas Connelly Jr., Ph.D., CEO of the American Chemical Society (ACS). “The American Chemical Society supports scientific progress toward these important sustainability achievements and is pleased to be able to work with the EPA to continue this prestigious award.”

The awards are sponsored by EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention in partnership with ACS’ Green Chemistry Institute and other members of the chemistry community. The awards will be presented by Connelly and Jennie R. Romer, EPA’s deputy assistant administrator for pollution prevention. 

The winning technologies are:

Academic: Song Lin, Ph.D., Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, for creating a new process that uses readily available substances to make large and complicated molecules that are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. The new technology eliminates the need to use potentially hazardous metals as transition catalysts that join parts of smaller molecules and has the potential to reduce both energy use and hazardous byproducts.

Small Business: Provivi, Santa Monica, California, for creating ProviviFAW®, a green pheromone made from renewable plant oils. It controls the fall armyworm moth — a destructive pest that feeds on corn and other vital crops — thereby reducing the need for traditional pesticides, some of which can be harmful for beneficial insects, such as pollinators.

Greener Synthetic Pathways: Merck, Rahway, New Jersey, for developing a greener way to make Molnupiravir™, an antiviral medicine for the treatment of COVID-19. Merck greatly improved process efficiency for the manufacturing of this drug in a short time and eliminated inefficient and wasteful steps that will lead to far less solvent waste, reduced energy use and a 1.6-fold improvement in overall yield.

Greener Reaction Conditions: Amgen, Thousand Oaks, California, for an improved manufacturing process for LUMAKRAS™ (sotorasib), a novel drug to treat certain non-small cell lung cancers. Amgen’s innovation decreases manufacturing time for the drug by cutting the number of steps involved in the production process. This significantly reduces solvent waste and establishes a recycling process for a harmful substance.

Specific Environmental Benefit — Climate Change: Mark Mascal, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, for creating a new technology that produces chemicals from biological material derived from the food sugar fructose rather than petroleum. This novel chemistry could have significant climate impacts by replacing fossil fuels with biomass, especially when the technology is scaled to an entire industry.

The awards ceremony will be streamed online to registered attendees of the Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference. Media members are welcome to attend. Please email c_briddell@acs.org to obtain media registration details.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people. The Society is a global leader in promoting excellence in science education and providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a leader in scientific information solutions, its CAS division partners with global innovators to accelerate breakthroughs by curating, connecting and analyzing the world’s scientific knowledge. ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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 chemistry enterprise and the Society. ACS GCI convenes industrial roundtables, holds an annual Green Chemistry & Engineering conference (gcande.org), and offers educational resources including grants, awards, webinars and workshops — encouraging scientific innovations to solve environmental and human health issues facing our world today.

To automatically receive press releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

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Note: ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies.

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