Two Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers have received a national award for developing a sustainable, economic process to create the common chemical propylene glycol from renewable sources instead of petroleum.
Propylene glycol is used in everything from food to liquid detergents and cosmetics.
Researchers John Frye and Alan Zacher were honored with the 2015 Award for Affordable Green Chemistry from the American Chemical Society.
Archer Daniels Midland Company licensed the catalytic process from PNNL in 2006. The company built a plant in Decatur, Ill., that generates the chemical from plant byproducts cheap enough to compete with propylene glycol derived from oil.
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Todd Werpy of Archer Daniels Midland also won the award.