—Green Chemistry Is A Guide For Industrial Biotechnology “AWARD-WINNING PROCESSES” Most of the developments in industrial biotechnology have their foundations in the principles of green chemistry, which emphasize developing economically viable products and processes that require fewer reagents, less solvent, and less energy than conventional processes, while being safer, generating less waste, and having a lower environmental impact. The benefits of industrial biotechnology are observable in data collected by the Environmental Protection Agency to measure the impact of the technologies developed by recipients of the annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards, which EPA administers. The award-winning processes are preventing an average of 140 million lb of hazardous substances from being produced each year, saving more than 55 million gal of process water per year, and preventing 57 million lb of carbon dioxide emissions per year. In total, green chemistry technologies are preventing more than 3 billion lb of hazardous materials or waste per year, according to EPA. A few examples of recent award winners follow: Metabolix Inc., Cambridge, Mass., has developed a fermentation process to produce biodegradable polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) "natural plastics" from renewable feedstocks.
April 03, 2006