Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Winners Awarded

EPA Administrator Christie Whitman yesterday acknowledged the individuals and companies recognized for innovative chemical technologies that promote pollution\r\nprevention and industrial ecology.

EPA Administrator Christie Whitman yesterday acknowledged the winners of the 2001 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards.

"This year''s award winners have made significant innovative contributions that will help reduce the use and generation of hazardous chemicals, resulting in a cleaner and safer environment," said Whitman. "The Presidential Green Chemistry Award honors American know-how at its best."

Whitman was referring to awards made to individuals and companies to recognize innovative chemical technologies that promote pollution prevention and industrial ecology.

The ceremony, held Monday honored Professor Chao-Jun Li of Tulane University, EDEN Bioscience Corp., Bayer Corp. and Bayer AG, Novozymes North America Inc. and PPG Industries Inc.

An independent panel of technical experts selected the five winners after reviewing more than 70 nominations for this recognition.

The awards were given in five categories: Academic, Small Business, Alternative Synthetic Pathways, Alternative Reaction Conditions and Designing Safer Chemicals.

Professor Chao-Jun Li of Tulane University received the Academic Award for his design of a variety of transition metal catalyzed reactions that can be run in air and water, rather than in organic solvents and inert atmosphere. These reactions have widespread applications in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, petrochemicals, agricultural chemicals, polymers, and plastics.

EDEN Bioscience Corp. was selected for the Small Business Award for developing Messenger agricultural technology defense systems, designed to simultaneously protect crops from disease and pests and activate certain plant growth systems without altering the plant''s genetic material. Using this technology enables growers to harness the innate defense and growth systems of crops, substantially enhancing yields, improving crop quality, and reducing reliance on conventional agricultural chemicals.

Bayer Corp. and Bayer AG were selected for the Alternative Synthetic Pathways Award for their synthesis of an environmentally friendly biodegradable chelating agent, sodium iminodissuccinate. Unlike traditional chelating agents, sodium iminodissuccinate is a readily biodegradable, non-polluting and non-toxic alternative characterized by excellent chelation capabilities and manufactured in a 100 percent waste-free process.

Novozymes North America Inc. was selected for the Alternative Reaction Conditions Award for developing BioPreparationTM technology, an enzymatic process for treating cotton textiles that provides an economical and environmentally friendly alternative to alkaline scour systems currently used in the textile industry. The technology offers many advantages for textile wet processing, including reduced Biological Oxygen Demand and Chemical Oxygen Demand, decreased water use and significant cost savings.

Finally, PPG Industries Inc. was selected for the Designing Safer Chemicals Award for their use of yttrium as a substitute for lead in cationic electrocoatings, without sacrificing corrosion performance. Not only is yttrium significantly less toxic than lead, it is twice as effective on a weight basis in electrocoat applications. As PPG customers implement yttrium over the next several years, approximately one million pounds of lead will be removed from the electrocoat applications of PPG automotive customers.

More information on the Presidential Green Chemistry Award is available at www.epa.gov/greenchemistry.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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