A Carlsbad company was recognized Monday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its production of a chemical that is used to make high-performance nylon used in a slew of products from paintbrushes to automotive oil.
Industrial biotech company Verdezyne Inc., which produces renewable organic chemicals, was among five firms honored with a Presidential Green Chemistry Award.
The company won top honors for developing a yeast that produces the chemical dodecanedioic acid without using high temperatures or concentrated nitric acid, according to a statement from the EPA. The federal agency also liked that the yeast was fed a plant-based feedstock, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Another California company, Costa-Mesa based Newlight Technologies LLC, was recognized for its carbon capture technology that combines air with methane emissions to create a plastic now used in products such as bags, cellphone cases and furniture.
“Every year, companies develop innovative green chemistry technologies that will result in safer chemical use where we work and live," said Alexis Strauss, the EPA’s acting regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest, in a statement. "EPA congratulates Verdezyne and Newlight Technologies for creating sustainable solutions which spur innovation and economic development in Southern California.”
Also recognized at the event were Princeton University Professor Paul Chirik, for discovering a new class of catalysts that permits the production of silicones, used in goods such as tires and shampoos, without the use of platinum; Texas-based CB&I and Albemarle, for jointly developing and commercializing the production of alkylate, a clean gasoline component; and Dow AgroSciences LLC, for developing and commercializing a technology to reduce the leaching of nitrogen fertilizers into the ground and air.
A panel of experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute winnowed dozens of nominees to recommend the top technologies to the EPA, according to the agency.
Since the program began 21 years ago, 109 technologies of more than 1,600 entered in the competition have received a Green Chemistry award.