A series of ongoing initiatives aimed at transforming the chemical industry is well underway. Eco-friendly innovations and environmentally conscious initiatives designed to make the industry safer and more sustainable are being rewarded at the 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Conference. Among others, innovative solutions include the use of vegetable oil as opposed to crude oil, iron replacing platinum catalysts, and the avoidance of corrosive acids and toxic chemicals in petrochemical plants.
For the 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards, the winners at the Portland Oregon conference include the following companies:
• CB & I
• Newlight Technologies
• Paul J. Chirik of Princeton University
• Dow AgroSciences
The much-hyped meeting took place over a period of 3 days and included all manner of engineering research and education, technical sessions related to green chemistry advances, and policy -related issues vis-a-vis the adoption of sustainable chemical industry practices. The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards are the brainchild of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). The overarching objective of the awards is to achieve objectives set out at the Federal level, in accordance with the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990.
The program has been running for two decades and in that time, the Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a total of 104 prizes to companies and scientists from as many as 1500 nominees. According to the EPA, winning technologies have generated billions of pounds of progress through 2015, with savings in excess of 375,000 metric tonnes of toxic chemicals as well as solvents. Additionally, 80 billion L of water have been saved annually, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions every year by as much as 3.5 million metric tons.