The enzyme development start-up Arzeda has landed a partnership with the consumer goods giant Unilever to develop enzymes for household cleaning applications.
Many dish detergents and hard surface cleaners already use enzymes, which can break down soils, oils, and other grime as well as boost the performance of other ingredients. Enzymes, along with live microbes and advanced surfactants, are central to Unilever’s $1.2 billion plan to shift to 100% biobased ingredients for its cleaning products by 2030.
Global consumer brands company Unilever announced today a new multi-year partnership with leading protein design company Arzeda, exploring biology-based solutions to transform the sustainability and performance of cleaning and laundry products.
Scientists have found an innovative approach to combat the global plastic waste crisis and make something sweeter in the process.
To meet the demands for vanillin, the primary component of vanilla bean extract, and reduce plastic waste, researchers are converting plastic into vanilla flavoring using genetically engineered bacteria, according to a new study published in Green Chemistry. This study marks the first time researchers brewed up a “valuable” chemical compound from plastic waste, reports Damian Carrington for the Guardian.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have created a polymer film made from 100% plant protein that requires no chemical additives – and they claim it has comparable functionality to conventional plastics.
Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc. (“Ginkgo”) today announced the signing of a program in a partnership with the Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. (“Sumitomo Chemical”), one of Japan’s leading chemical companies. Ginkgo is building the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, to serve customers across industries seeking to develop better products. Sumitomo Chemical seeks to leverage Ginkgo’s long-established expertise in organism engineering to significantly increase the production efficiency and sustainability of a key bio-based commercial product.
Scientific innovations that decrease or eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals, reduce greenhouse gases and result in a safer and more sustainable product are being honored with Green Chemistry Challenge Awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Michal Freedhoff, Ph.D., principal deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention at the EPA, will announce the award winners at the 25th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, which is being held virtually June 14-18.
The winning technologies are:
Academic: Srikanth Pilla, Ph.D., Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, is being recognized for synthesizing a biobased polyurethane foam from paper and pulp waste that is designed to be fully recyclable. This innovation provides a nontoxic alternative to make products such as automobile seat cushions, furniture and insulation.
Small Business: XploSafe LLC, Stillwater, Oklahoma, is being recognized for creating PhosRoxTM, a porous ceramic material that can absorb excess nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater sources such as aquariums, watering ponds, swimming pools and water features. Once saturated, this material can be used as a time-release fertilizer, preventing water pollution, recycling nutrients and reducing the large environmental footprint of phosphate and nitrogen production.
Greener Synthetic Pathways: Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey, is being recognized for redesigning the synthesis and manufacture of gefapixant citrate, a drug to treat chronic cough. Merck reduced the total mass of materials used to create a unit of the active ingredient five-fold and increased the yield 44%, while reducing the cost of materials six-fold compared to the drug’s original manufacturing route. Flow chemistry was employed to improve process safety, and a life cycle assessment showed the new process would decrease the carbon footprint of production by more than 80%.
Greener Reaction Conditions: Bristol Myers Squibb, New York, is being recognized for developing a new class of sustainable reagents that can be applied to a range of applications, including nucleotide chemistry, a growing area of drug development. The new reagent platform bypasses the traditional approach, reducing solvent and reagent use and improving the stability of the reagents and intermediates, making them safer to use. The innovation also eliminates the need for carbon footprint-intensive cold storage, required by the current approach.
The Design of Greener Chemicals: Colonial Chemical, Inc., South Pittsburg, Tennessee, is being recognized for developing Suga®Boost biobased, nontoxic, biodegradable surfactants from functionalized alkyl polyglucosides that perform on par with or better than the commonly used alkyl phenol ethoxylate (APE) surfactants. APEs are targeted for replacement because they have poor biodegradability in the environment, have adverse effects on aquatic and terrestrial organisms and humans, and are often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a carcinogen.
The Green Chemistry Challenge Awards are a collaboration between the EPA and the ACS Green Chemistry Institute®.
The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (GCI) is an institute of the American Chemical Society dedicated to catalyzing the implementation of green and sustainable chemistry and engineering throughout the global chemistry enterprise and the Society. ACS GCI convenes industrial roundtables, holds an annual Green Chemistry & Engineering conference (gcande.org), and offers educational resources including grants, awards, webinars and workshops — encouraging scientific innovations to solve environmental and human health issues facing our world today.
The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people.