Green chemistry award winners
The annual US Green Chemistry Challenge awards promote the environmental and economic benefits of developing and using novel green chemistry. The awards are managed by the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute, and the 2019 awards saw four winners.
Merck & Co was presented with the greener synthetic pathways award for a redesigned route for the manufacture of the combination antibiotic Zerbaxa (ceftolozane and tazobactam), which is used to treat resistant Gram-negative infections.
The award for greener reaction conditions went to WSI for its TRUpath technology, an alternative commercial laundering technique that avoids the use of potentially harmful chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide and endocrine-disrupting nonylphenol ethoxylate-based surfactants, replacing them with more biodegradable surfactants. It also removes the need for phosphates in the product formulation.
The small business award went to Kalion for its partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that commercialised the first microbial fermentation process to make glucaric acid. This biodegradable compound has the potential to replace various more environmentally damaging chemicals with a non-toxic, sugar-derived alternative, but the traditional processes used to make it are themselves problematic.
The academic award was made to Sanjoy Banerjee of the City University of New York’s Energy Institute. He was collaborating with Urban Electric Power, Sandia National Laboratories and Brookhaven National Laboratory to create large-scale zinc–manganese oxide batteries that can be recharged thousands of times without loss of power.
‘We congratulate the award winners and creators of these remarkable technologies that will help American businesses by reducing costs and opening up new markets for cleaner and safer products and services,’ said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. ‘These technologies support economic growth and protect public health by reducing hazardous chemicals and conserving energy and water.’
For further details visit this month’s issue of Chemistry and Industry .