Dow, Merck and BASF awarded for innovation in pollution prevention.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has awarded three of its members-BASF Corp., Dow and Merck & Co. Inc.-with 2010 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge awards. The awards recognize innovations that incorporate the principles of “green chemistry” into the design, manufacture and use of products for pollution prevention, or, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains, “cleaner, cheaper, smarter chemistry.”

Established in 1995, the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge awards program is led by the EPA’s Office and Pollution Prevention and Toxics, which works with other federal agencies, members of the chemical industry, trade associations, scientific organizations, and academia. An independent panel of technical experts convened by the ACC’s Green Chemistry Institute judged award applications from individuals, groups, and nongovernmental organizations, both nonprofit and for profit. The ACC notes that its member companies have been recognized with these awards nearly every year since the program’s inception.

Dow and BASF have received the Greener Synthetic Pathways award for jointly developing a route that uses hydrogen peroxide to make propylene oxide, greatly reducing the waste, as well as the water and energy used, in manufacturing propylene oxide. Propylene oxide is a chemical building block used in a variety of products, including detergents, polyurethanes, de-icers, food additives and personal care items.

ACC member company Merck & Co. worked with Codexis to develop a second-generation synthesis of an ingredient in Type 2 diabetes medicine. Together, the two companies received the Greener Reaction Conditions award.

“These awards provide public recognition of the hard behind-the-scenes work that our members do to make our lives healthier, safer and better, while building a solid foundation for the future-all through the products of chemistry,” said Cal Dooley, ACC president and CEO. “The industry’s effort in green chemistry isn’t news to us, though. Through the ACC’s Responsible Care® initiative, our members have long practiced and promoted the principles of sustainable chemistry and effective product stewardship through their ongoing contributions to the nation’s economic, energy, health, environmental and social progress.”

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