Winners of Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards announced

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2012 — American Chemical Society (ACS) President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, Ph.D., and Jim Jones, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today announced winners of the 2012 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The ceremony took place at EPA headquarters in the Rachel Carson Green Room.

The awardees are:

  • Professor Robert M. Waymouth of Stanford University and Dr. James L. Hedrick of the IBM Almaden Research Center in the Academic Category for developing a broad class of highly active, environmentally benign organic catalysts for synthesizing biodegradable and biocompatible plastics.
  • Professor Geoffrey W. Coates of Cornell University in the Academic Category for developing a new family of catalysts that can effectively and economically turn carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide into valuable polymers.
  • Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc., of Bolingbrook, Ill., in the Small Business category for their groundbreaking work in producing high-performance, cost-effective green chemicals from renewable oils.
  • Codexis, Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., and Professor Yi Tang of the University of California, Los Angeles, in the Greener Synthetic Pathways Category. Simvastatin is an important drug for treating high cholesterol. Professor Tang discovered a new way to greatly streamline the process of manufacturing simvastatin, thereby reducing waste. His approach also uses a low-cost feedstock. Codexis optimized the process, and to date has manufactured more than 10 metric tons of simvastatin.
  • Cytec Industries, Inc., of Woodland Park, N.J., in the Greener Reaction Conditions Category. The electrochemical production of alumina requires enormous amounts of energy, further compromised by scale buildup that depletes production efficiency. Cytec has developed a scale inhibitor that permits continued production and reduced need for sulfuric acid cleaning.
  • Buckman International Inc., of Memphis, Tenn., in the Design of Greener Chemicals Category for developing new enzymes that allow for the production of paper and paperboard with improved strength and quality.

“I am pleased and proud to announce the advances that these scientists, engineers, companies and universities have pioneered,” said Shakhashiri. “Here at the cutting edge of scientific discovery and innovation, we witness how creativity and determination have led to the development of new products and processes.”

The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge was established to recognize and promote innovative chemical technologies that prevent pollution and have broad applicability in industry. The Challenge is sponsored by the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention in partnership with the ACS Green Chemistry Institute and other members of the chemical community.

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