This year's Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge winners will be announced at the 20th Annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Ceremony, July 13, 2015, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.
The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge, administered through a partnership between EPA and the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI), promotes the environmental and economic benefits of developing and using novel green chemistry, and has significantly reduced the hazards associated with designing, manufacturing, and using chemicals.
Since 1996, the 98 winning technologies have made billions of pounds of real, measurable progress, including:
- 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals and solvents eliminated each year -- enough to fill almost 3,800 railroad tank cars or a train nearly 47 miles long;
- 21 billion gallons of water saved each year -- the amount used by 820,000 people annually; and
- 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents released to air eliminated each year -- equal to taking 810,000 automobiles off the road.
Past winners include:
- An environmentally safe alternative to toxic and bioaccumulating ships' hull coatings;
- A water-based, catalytic method used to produce gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel from sugar, starch, or cellulose;
- A process to create tiny micelles, or 'nanoreactors,' in water, within which a variety of chemical reactions can occur, eliminating the need for organic solvents;
- A polymer that coats titanium dioxide to reduce pigment clumping in paint, so less pigment needs to be used to achieve the same results, lowering carbon footprint, water use, and release of volatile compounds; and
- An enzyme that increases the ability of cellulose fibers to bind together, therefore reducing the paper's weight without sacrificing performance, and making it possible to use higher percentages of recycled pulp.
Detailed descriptions of all the winning technologies, processes, and discoveries are available on EPA's Green Chemistry website.
Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards are awarded in six categories:
- Focus Area 1: Greener Synthetic Pathways;
- Focus Area 2: Greener Reaction Conditions;
- Focus Area 3: The Design of Greener Chemicals;
- Small Business (for a technology in any of the three focus areas developed by a business with annual sales of less than $40 million);
- Academic (for a technology in any of the three focus areas developed by an academic researcher); and
- Specific Environmental Benefit: Climate Change (for a technology in any of the three focus areas that reduces greenhouse gas emissions).
Information and instructions on nominating a product, process, or technology for an award are available on the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award website.
ACS GCI offers a wealth of resources regarding green chemistry, including the brochure 'Design Principles for Sustainable and Green Chemistry and Engineering,' the What's Your Green Chemistry? YouTube channel, and Green Chemistry: The Nexus Blog.
Journalists interested in covering the safer, cleaner, greener chemistry that is being done by this year's winning chemistry innovators are encouraged to contact the EPA and ACS representatives listed below. There are both compelling business and consumer stories to be told about the companies and scientists who are working to make the products and services traded every day more profitable, sustainable, and renewable.