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Coating Advances Top 2013 EPA Awards

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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New coating technologies that drastically reduce the use of toxic hexavalent chromium and costly titanium dioxide are among the top green chemistry innovations for 2013.

The U.S. Environmental  Protection Agency has recognized a new industrial coating process by Faraday Technology and a new architectural coating formulation by Dow Chemical as two of the five winners of its 2013 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.

Ohio-based Faraday was honored for a new plating process allows chrome coatings to be made from less toxic trivalent chrome. Dow's Coating Materials business was recognized for its development of Evoque Pre-Composite Polymer Technology, which reportedly improves coating performance while reducing titanium dioxide content by up to 20 percent.

Evoque molecule Evoque formulation
Dow Chemical Co.

Dow says Evoque's interaction with the titanium dioxide surface (left) creates "a polymer-pigment composite that contributes to tighter film formation," saving water and improving performance.

A University of Delaware professor was also named a winner for his development of adhesives, composites, foams and other materials from biobased feedstocks.

'Groundbreaking Scientific Solutions'

The EPA selected five winners from scores of entries this year, bringing to 93 the total number of winners over 18 years of the program.

The Green Chemistry Challenge Award program has received about 1,500 nominations over time. The EPA says the winning technologies have collectively reduced the use or generation of more than 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals, saving 21 billion gallons of water and eliminating 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent releases.

“Today, EPA is recognizing groundbreaking scientific solutions to real-world environmental problems that improve the bottom line for America’s manufacturing sector," Jim Jones, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said in announcing the awards Dec. 11.

"These revolutionary technologies have great potential to make consumer products from adhesives to paints safer for us to use, as well as safer and less costly to manufacture by reducing hazardous wastes, energy, and water wastes."

Pigment Alternatives

Titanium dioxide is the world's most common pigment, widely used in paints and coatings for hiding, brightening and whitening.

Labor-intensive to produce, the pigment has undergone skyrocketing price increases in recent years, leaving paint and coating makers scrambling for alternatives and new supply sources.

TiO2
Wikimedia Commons / Walkerma

The price of titanium dioxide, the world's most common pigment, has risen sharply worldwide in recent years.

Evoque follows Dow's introduction of Ropaque Opaque Polymer, billed as the world’s first hollow sphere pigment for partial replacement of TiO2.

Evoque "allows formulators to further improve TiO2 efficiency and also raise paint performance in key areas such as stain resistance and durability," Midland, MI-based Dow said in an announcement.

The company says that Evoque's interaction with the titanium dioxide surface creates "a polymer-pigment composite that contributes to tighter film formation," yielding a paint with greater stain resistance and removal.

By the Numbers

Dow said that a recent third-party-validated Life Cycle Assessment found that paints formulated with Evoque Technology "yielded the lowest environmental impact compared to similar technologies in 10 out of 10 key categories, including resource depletion and green house effect."

Evoque "reduced the paint’s carbon footprint by more than 22 percent and water consumption by 30 percent," Dow reported.

Evoque was honored in the Designing Greener Materials category.

Cutting the Chromium

Faraday, based in Clayton, OH, says its patented Faradayic Process can reduce "millions of pounds of hexavalent chromium without comprising performance for uses such as aircraft parts."

Faraday-Technology
Faraday Technology Inc.

The patented Faradayic Process replaces chemical mediation with electrical mediation in plating, reducing the need for toxic hexavalent chromium.

The process is an electrochemical manufacturing technique that uses a controlled electric field to electrodeposit the required material, essentially replacing chemical mediation with electrical mediation.

Founded in 1991, Faraday develops and commercializes electrochemical technology for surface finishing, industrial coatings, corrosion mitigation and other applications. The company won in the Small Business category.

Other Winners

The other 2013 winners:

Dr. Richard Wool
University of Delaware

Dr. Richard Wool's research in materials science and engineering focuses on creating plastics and composites from renewable resources.

Dr. Richard Wool, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, was recognized in the Academic category for his research into biobased polymers and composites. Wool has developed several materials from less toxic and renewable biobased feedstocks such as vegetable oils, chicken feathers and flax. The materials can be used as adhesives, composites, foams, circuit boards and as a leather substitute.

Life Technologies, Austin, TX, topped the Greener Reaction Conditions category with a more efficient, less wasteful way to manufacture key chemicals used to perform genetic testing. The new process prevents about 1.5 million pounds of hazardous waste a year, EPA said.

Cargill Inc., Brookfield, WI, was honored in Greener Synthetic Pathways for developing a vegetable oil-based transformer fluid that is much less flammable, less toxic, provides superior performance compared to mineral oil-based fluids, and has a lower carbon footprint, EPA said.

More information: http://www2.epa.gov/green-chemistry.

   

Tagged categories: Dow Chemical Company; Dow Coating Materials; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Green Chemistry Awards; hazardous materials; Hexavalent chromium; Pigments; Polymers; Renewable raw materials; Titanium dioxide

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