Toxic Reduction and Safer Alternatives

The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards recognizes outstanding advances in the field of green chemistry. It promotes the environmental and economic benefits of green chemistry and recognizes individuals, groups, academia and businesses for innovations in the field.
  • LanzaTech Gas Fermentation Process
    LanzaTech Inc. reduced the companies’ carbon footprint by developing a process that uses waste gas to produce fuels and chemicals. They partnered with many companies to use the technology which reduced greenhouse gas, particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions.
  • Foam Concentrates-Effective Halogen-free Firefighting
    For years, firefighting foams have been used to smother burning fuels and cooling fires. These foams contain fluorinated surfactants which are persistent chemicals with high environmental impacts. The Solberg Company created fluorinated compounds with a blend of non-fluorinated surfactants and sugars resulting in far less effect on the environment.

Oregon examples that use principles of Green Chemistry

  • Coastwide Laboratories’ green chemistry efforts successfully developed ingredients to replace toxics in their cleaning product formulations and partnered with a university to create a new product design model. The model is called the Sustainable Earth Green Chemistry Standard. The Sustainable Earth line of commercial and industrial cleaning products is based on the standard. For more information go to case studies found in Advancing Green Chemistry in Oregon.
  • Formaldehyde (toxic) is often used when making plywood and other wood composites. Through a partnership between Oregon State University, Columbia Forest Products and Hercules Incorporated an alternative adhesive was developed made from soy flour. Learn more about this work from EPA’s Presidential Green chemistry Challenge web page.
  • Nike developed a less toxic alternative for shoe rubber. In 2002 they launched their Environmentally Preferred Rubber that eliminated 4 of 5 toxic chemicals and now use in more than 90% of their footwear.

Washington State examples of Green Chemistry

  • Liberty Bottleworks
    Liberty Bottleworks produces eye-catching water bottles at its zero-waste manufacturing plant in Union Gap.