The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is recognizing landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that turn potential environmental issues into business opportunities, spurring innovation and economic development. UniEnergy Technologies, of Mukilteo, Washington, in partnership with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, will receive EPA’s Green Chemistry Challenge Award for the company’s advanced vanadium redox flow battery. UniEnergy Technologies and other award winners will be honored on June 12 at a ceremony in Washington, DC.
“We congratulate those who bring innovative solutions that will help solve problems and help American businesses,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These innovations encourage smart and safe practices while cutting manufacturing costs and sparking investments. Ultimately, these manufacturing processes and products spur economic growth and are safer for health and the environment.”
UniEnergy Technologies has successfully commercialized an advanced vanadium redox flow battery, which was originally developed at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The battery, when used by utility, commercial, and industrial customers, allows cities and businesses more access to stored energy. It also lasts longer and works in a broad temperature range with one-fifth of the footprint of previous flow battery technologies. The electrolyte is water-based and does not degrade, and the batteries are non-flammable and recyclable, thus helping meet the increasing demand for electrical energy storage in the electrical power market, from generation, transmission, and distribution to the end-users of electricity.
During the 22 years of the Green Chemistry Challenge program, EPA has received more than 1600 nominations and presented awards to 114 technologies that spur economic growth, reduce costs, and decrease waste. The agency estimates winning technologies are responsible for annually reducing 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.
An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute formally judged the 2017 submissions from among scores of nominated technologies and made recommendations to EPA for the 2017 winners. The 2017 awards event will be held in conjunction with the 21st Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference.