BATTELLE EARNS 2008 PRESIDENTIAL GREEN CHEMISTRY AWARD
Pioneering work in bio-based toners earns highest environmental award from EPA
Columbus, OH—Battelle, the world’s largest non-profit research and development organization, today announced its work in developing bio-based toners and resins has earned a 2008 Presidential Green Chemistry Award from the EPA.
The award will be presented at the 2008 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 24th. The EPA's Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge promotes research to develop less-toxic alternatives to existing technologies, and to reduce or eliminate waste generated from industrial production. An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society selected the winners from the nearly 100 nominations for this recognition.
More than 200,000 tons of petroleum-derived electrostatic dry toners and resins are used annually in the U.S. to make 3 trillion copies in photocopiers and printers. The biggest environmental problem with conventional toners is the difficulty with which these inks are removed from the paper during recycling. Previous attempts have been made by other companies to develop an environmentally friendly approach to ease the de-inking process, but have failed due to high costs and inadequate performance.
With early-stage funding from the Ohio Soybean Council, Battelle’s novel method uses soy oil and protein along with carbohydrates from corn as its chemical feedstock. The incorporation of chemical groups that are susceptible to breaking down during the standard de-inking process allowed Battelle to develop new bio-based inks that are significantly easier to remove from the paper fiber. The result is a higher quality of material recovered and streamlines the recycling process.
Additionally, a preliminary life-cycle analysis shows significant energy savings and reduced carbon dioxide emission in the full value chain. With an expected 25% market penetration by 2010, Battelle estimates this technology could save 9.25 trillion British thermal units per year (Btu/yr) and eliminate over 360,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
In 2006, Advanced Image Resources (AIR), the licensee of the technology, successfully scaled-up production to manufacture resin and toner that is compatible with current hardware. The new toner will be sold under trade names BioRez® and Rezilution®.