Cargill’s BiOHTM brand polyols, the first commercially successful biobased polyols used in polyurethane foam cushioning, has won the 2007 President’s Green Chemistry Challenge Award.
Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Presidential Green Chemistry Award promotes innovative chemical technologies that reduce negative impacts on human health and the environment compared to the current state-of-the-art. An independent panel, selected by the American Chemical Society, judges the nominations.
“This brings well-deserved recognition to the incredible work done by our team in taking the concept from a blank sheet of paper to commercial sales in just 26 months,” said Ron Christenson, Cargill corporate vice president and chief technology officer. “The team continues to work in tandem with customers to expand the applications of and develop high-performing additions to the product line. It is one of the great success stories of industrial bioproduct development and I accept the award with great pride on behalf of Cargill.”
This is the third time in two years that Cargill’s BiOH polyols have achieved significant third-party recognition. In 2006 it earned a Technology Innovation Award from the Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry. In March of this year, it won a Sustainability Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers.
In addition, this is the second time a Cargill business has landed a Presidential Green Chemistry Award. In 2002, Cargill’s corn-based polymers business, NatureWorks (then known as Cargill Dow), won in the Greener Reaction Conditions category.
About BiOH polyols
Derived from natural vegetable oils such as soybean oil, BiOH polyols help flexible polyurethane manufacturers reduce their environmental footprint and market their choice to downstream customers. Manufacturers are currently applying it to make flexible foam for bedding, furniture and automotive uses. Customers include some of the biggest names in those industries.
A preliminary life cycle analysis indicates that replacement of petroleum-based polyols with BiOH polyols results in 36 percent less global warming emissions, a 61-percent reduction in non-renewable energy use, and a 23-percent reduction in the total energy demand. For every million pounds of BiOH polyol produced to replace petroleum- based polyols, about 2,200 barrels (nearly 700,000 pounds) of crude oil are saved.
Cargill, press release, 2007-06-26.