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Eastman wins government award for green chemistry process

By Guy Montague-Jones , 23-Jun-2009
Last updated on 23-Jun-2009 at 16:57 GMT

Eastman has won an EPA green chemistry award for its solvent-free biocatalytic process for cosmetic and personal care ingredients.

The 2009 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards, administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency, are given to recognize research that contributes significantly to pollution prevention.

At an awards ceremony at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC yesterday, Eastman picked up the Greener Synthetic Pathways award for its green biocatalytic process.

Explaining the biocatalytic process

Eastman originally launched the process at In-Cosmetics in Amsterdam last year. To see a video interview CosmeticsDesign.com conducted with the head of personal care, Jim McCaulley, discussing the features and potential of the technology click here .

The process is designed to make the production of esters more environmentally friendly. The cosmetics industry in North America uses an estimated 50,000 metric tons of esters for a variety of uses including emollients, emulsifiers, and specialty performance ingredients.

These esters are usually made using high temperatures and strong acids. Eastman’s process, on the other hand, uses immobilized enzymes and is not only solvent-free, but also uses less energy.

Eastman CEO Jim Rodgers said: “This latest recognition offers eloquent testimony to how our continued investments deliver real-world results – the creation and nurturing of sustainable technologies and products.”

Other green chemistry winners

Other winners at the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards included:

  • Academic Award - Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Small Business Award - Virent Energy Systems
  • Greener Reaction Conditions - CEM Corporation
  • Designing Greener Chemicals - Procter & Gamble Company, jointly with Cook Composites and Polymers Company

The winners were chosen by an independent panel of technical experts brought together by the American Chemical Society and its ACS Green Chemistry Institute.

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