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Posted: June 26, 2007
Nanotechnology application receives highest environmental award given In the U.S.
(Nanowerk News) The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that Dr. Bing Zhou and members of Headwaters Technology Innovation (HTI) have received the coveted Presidential Green Chemistry Award 2007 for their project, Direct Synthesis of Hydrogen Peroxide by Selective Nanocatalyst Technology. This award is the highest environmental award given in the US.
EPA's Green Chemistry Program promotes the research, development, and implementation of innovative chemical technologies that accomplish pollution prevention in a scientifically sound and cost-effective manner. Dr. Zhou’s team at HTI has achieved precisely these goals by developing a robust nanotechnology catalyst technology that enables the synthesis of H2O2 directly from hydrogen and oxygen.
Five Presidential Green Chemistry Awards are given annually to industry and government sponsors, an academic investigator, and a small business, and this is Dr. Zhou’s first award through the program. Upon hearing of the win, Dr. Zhou responded, "We are delighted here at HTI to have won such a prestigious award, and feel that our innovative technology achieves the Green Chemistry Program’s principle of designing syntheses that generate substances with little or no toxicity to humans and the environment."
This breakthrough technology, called NxCat™, is a palladium-platinum catalyst that eliminates all the hazardous reaction conditions and chemicals of the existing process, along with its undesirable byproducts. It produces H2O2 more efficiently, cutting both energy use and costs. It uses innocuous, renewable feedstocks and generates no toxic waste.
NxCat™ catalysts work because of their precisely controlled surface morphology. Except for its historically higher price, H2O2 is an excellent substitute for the more frequently used—and far more deleterious—chlorinated oxidants. The NxCat™ technology has the benefit of producing a cost effective, environmentally preferable oxidant (H2O2), and is expected to be the oxidant of choice for synthesis of major industrial chemicals.
In partnership with Degussa AG, a major H2O2 manufacturer, HTI has demonstrated its technology and is preparing to begin commercial production in 2009.