Genomatica, BioAmber land Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

June 21, 2011 |

In Washington, the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards for 2011 were awarded to:

Academic: Bruce H. Lipshutz, PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara
Small business: BioAmber, Inc., Plymouth, Minn.
Greener synthetic pathways: Genomatica, San Diego, Calif.
Greener reaction conditions: Kraton Performance Polymers, LLC, Houston, Texas
Designing greener chemicals: The Sherwin-Williams Company, Cleveland, Ohio

Genomatica was recognized for production of basic chemicals from renewable feedstocks at lower cost. The company’s biological production of biobased 1,4-butanediol (Bio-BDO) can reduce the cost to build a chemical plant, reduce the production and operating cost, reduce energy use by 60 percent, and reduce greenhouse gases by 70 percent. 1,4-butanediol is used in products like spandex and automotive plastics.

BioAmber was recognized for integrated production and downstream applications of biobased succinic acid. Succinic acid, commonly referred to as amber acid, is a key building block for a wide range of secondary chemicals used in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food and agricultural industries. Until now, the high cost of producing succinic acid from fossil fuels has restricted its use. The company’s process uses 60 percent less energy, costs 40 percent less, and offers a smaller carbon footprint than fossil fuel based succinic acid. BioAmber’s biosuccinic acid can also substitute for other chemicals like adipic acid in traditional polymers and serve as the starting material for the production of chemicals such as 1,4-butanediol (BDO) and tetrahydrofuran (THF).

An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute selected the 2011 winners from among scores of nominated technologies.

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