Green Polyurethanes Capture Blue Ribbon


WASHINGTON--Polyurethanes tough enough for industrial use without hazardous isocyanates have bested scores of technologies to win a 2015 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has bestowed the award on Hybrid Coating Technologies/Nanotech Industries for its development of Hybrid Non-Isocyanate Polyurethane/Green Polyurethane.

The company rolled out the technology in 2011.

Isocyanates at Issue

The diisocyanates MDI and TDI are used primarily in the manufacture of polyurethane products such as coatings, foams and thermal insulation for pipelines and storage tanks.

But isocyanates have come under increasing regulatory scrutiny as hazardous substances, drawing attention from both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In April 2011, the EPA issued action plans in 2011 for the use of MDI (Methylene Diphenyl Diisocycanate) and TDI (Toluene Diisocyanate).

Exposure to the chemicals is known to cause skin and respiratory problems, according to the EPA.


Isocyanates are widely used in the manufacture of flexible and rigid foams, fibers, building materials, coatings and, increasingly, the auto industry,  according to the CDC.

"Preventing exposure to isocyanates is a critical step in eliminating the health hazard," the CDC reports.

Prolonged exposure has also been known to cause severe asthma and even death. Isocyanates are also toxic to wildlife.

‘Safer Technology’

Now, Hybrid Coating Technologies, of Daly City, CA, is being recognized for “developing a safer, plant-based polyurethane for use on floors, furniture and in foam insulation.”

The technology eliminates the use of isocyanates throughout the entire process.

The EPA noted that the company's polyurethane "is already in production, is reducing VOCs and costs, and is safer for people and the environment."

In a statement on the award, Hybrid Coating Technologies said it was pleased by the prestigious award and recognition.

Hybrid Coating Technologies

Joseph Kristul, president and CEO of Hybrid Coating Technologies, says his company "has been working diligently for many years" on the technology.

“Hybrid has been working diligently for many years to improve the safety of polyurethanes and their application for coatings, foam, adhesives and sealants without sacrificing quality and performance,” said Joseph Kristul, president and CEO.

Hybrid bills its patented technology as the only formulation in the world that produces polyurethane without the use of any isocyanates in the entire production process.

About the Award

EPA named six winners from scores of entries this year, bringing to 104 the total number of winners over 20 years of the program.

The program has received more than 1,500 nominations over that 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 to air.

Green chemistry

Hybrid Coating Technologies/Nanotech Industries, of Daly City, CA, has been recognized for “developing a safer, plant-based polyurethane for use on floors, furniture and in foam insulation.

“From academia to business, we congratulate those who bring innovative solutions that will help solve some of the most critical environmental problems,” Jim Jones, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said in announcing the winners Monday (July 13).

Other Winners

The other 2015 winners follow.

Algenol in Fort Myers, FL, was recognized for developing a blue-green algae to produce ethanol and other fuels.

LanzaTech in Skokie, IL, was singled out for the development of a process that uses waste gas to produce fuels and chemicals, reducing companies’ carbon footprint.

SOLTEX (Synthetic Oils and Lubricants of Texas) in Houston,developed a new chemical reaction process that eliminates the use of water and reduces hazardous chemicals in the production of additives for lubricants and gasoline.

Renmatix in King of Prussia, PA, was recognized for developing a process using supercritical water to more cost effectively break down plant material into sugars used as building blocks for renewable chemicals and fuels.

Professor Eugene Chen of Colorado State University earned recognition for his process that uses plant-based materials in the production of renewable chemicals and liquid fuels.

All winners will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.


Tagged categories: Awards and honors; Coating chemistry; Coating Materials; EPA; Green Chemistry Awards; Green coatings; Health and safety; Hybrid Coating Technologies; Isocyanate; Nanotechnology; North America; Polyurethane; Spray foam

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