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Presidential ‘Green’ Awards Honor Protective Coating, Safe Solvent

Monday, June 20, 2011

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A high-performance coating made with recycled plastic and soybean oil has earned Sherwin-Williams a prestigious 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.

Sherwin-Williams was recognized in the Designing Greener Chemicals category for its Water-Based Acrylic Alkyd Technology (WBAAT), used in its ProIndustrial Waterborne Enamel and two house paints.

The 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Academic Award went to a California scientist for his research in developing safer alternatives to organic solvents.



The award-winning coatings “combine the performance benefits of alkyds and low VOC content of acrylics,” EPA said.

The 16th annual awards recognize pioneering chemical technologies developed by industrial innovators who make significant contributions to pollution prevention in the United States.

Greener Coating

Sherwin-Williams’ three WBAAT coatings, using soybean oil and PET plastic,  “combine the performance benefits of alkyds and low VOC content of acrylics,” the EPA said in a release.

The agency noted that oil-based alkyd paints have high levels of VOCs that become air pollutants as the paint dries. “Previous acrylic paints contained lower VOCs, but could not match the performance of alkyds,” EPA said.

In its new formula, Sherwin-Williams used 320,000 pounds of soybean oil and 250,000 pounds of PET, while eliminating 1,000 barrels of oil. “The continued evolution and expansion of the Sherwin-Williams technology has the potential to eliminate millions of pounds of VOC emissions while supporting the recycling of multimillion pounds of PET each year,” EPA said.

The technology cuts VOC content by 60 percent, Sherwin-Williams said. In 2010, the company manufactured enough of its new paints to eliminate more than 800,000 pounds of VOCs.

ProIndustrial Waterborne Industrial Enamel 100 is part of Sherwin-Williams’ line of Pro Industrial High Performance Coatings. The general-purpose enamel is low in VOCs (<100g/L) and suitable for handrails, machinery, safety and pipe marking, and most commercial applications.

“Incorporating simple ingredients like soybean oil and recycled plastic bottles into a first-of-its-kind powerful paint formula provides a winning transformational combination for our customers and the environment,” said Sherwin-Williams chairman and CEO Chris Connor.

The company’s other WBAAT products are ProClassic Waterbased Acrylic Alkyd and ProMar 200 Waterbased Acrylic Alkyd, designed for residential use.

Performance Attributes

The heart of the new technology is a low-VOC, alkyd–acrylic dispersion, EPA said. “This polymer dispersion has PET (i.e., poly(ethylene terephthalate)) segments for rigidity, hardness and hydrolytic resistance; it has acrylic functionality for improved dry times and durability; and it has soya functionality (from soybean oil) to promote film formation, gloss, flexibility, and cure.

“Sherwin-Williams designed this water-based acrylic alkyd technology to meet key performance attributes of solvent-based alkyds for architectural and industrial maintenance coatings applications, but with lower VOCs, without surfactants, and with excellent hydrolytic stability similar to that of latex paints.

“Sherwin-Williams water-based acrylic alkyd coatings bring together the best performance benefits of alkyd and acrylic paints, offering the application and finish of alkyds, including high gloss and excellent adhesion and moisture resistance, with the low VOC content, low odor and non-yellowing properties of acrylics.”

Solvents Researcher Honored

The 2011 awards also honored Professor Bruce H. Lipshutz, University of California, Santa Barbara, for research that aims to end dependence on organic solvents.

 Bruce Lipshutz
Dr. Bruce H. Lipshutz has developed a novel, safe alternative to organic solvents.

Each year, chemical manufacturers use billions of pounds of volatile, toxic and flammable petroleum-based solvents as the medium for organic reactions—solvents that make up much of the world’s chemical waste, EPA notes in its award.

Water alone is not a viable alternative to solvents, because many chemicals do not dissolve and do not react in water, EPA said.

Lipshutz, however, “has designed a safe surfactant that forms tiny droplets in water,” EPA reports. “Organic chemicals dissolve in these droplets and react efficiently, allowing water to replace organic solvents.”

Lipshutz’s “novel, second-generation surfactant,” called TPGS-750-M, “is a ‘designer’ surfactant composed of safe, inexpensive ingredients” that can create “dramatically increased reaction rates at ambient temperature” without additional energy, according to EPA. The surfactant can be efficiently recycled and can be used with any kind of water, even seawater.

 “In all, this technology offers opportunities for industrial processes to replace large amounts of organic solvents with very small amounts of a benign surfactant nanodispersed in water only,” said EPA, which called the work “an extraordinary achievement.”

Sigma-Aldrich is currently offering TPGS-750-M for sale, making it broadly available to research laboratories.

Other Honorees

An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute selected the 2011 winners from scores of nominated technologies. The winners were honored at a ceremony Monday (June 20) in Washington.

"EPA congratulates this year's winners for designing and developing innovative green chemistry technologies that will result in safer chemicals for use in products, homes, schools, and workplaces," said Steve Owens, EPA's Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

The other 2011 recipients are:

· Greener Reaction Conditions Award
Kraton Performance Polymers Inc.
NEXAR Polymer Membrane Technology

· Greener Synthetic Pathways Award
Genomatica Production of Basic Chemicals from Renewable Feedstocks at Lower Cost

· Small Business Award
BioAmber Inc.
Integrated Production and Downstream Applications of Biobased Succinic Acid


Tagged categories: Alkyd; Commercial Buildings; High-performance coatings; Protective coatings; Sherwin-Williams; Solvents; Water-borne

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