CHICAGO – Todd Werpy, Archer Daniels Midland Co.’s Senior Vice President, Research and Development, has received the 2014 American Chemical Society Affordable Green Chemistry award for his work in producing bio-based propylene glycol economically on a commercial scale.
ADM’s first-in-the industry process can produce 100,000 metric tons per year of propylene glycol from renewable sources. The resulting bio-based product meets all of the same U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and industrial specifications as petroleum-based propylene glycol.
“Our Research and Development team works every day with individual customers, creating new solutions to help them succeed,” Werpy added. “And we are always looking for new products to meet changing or expanding demand. Propylene glycol, for example, has been used for years in products ranging from liquid detergents to pharmaceuticals to plastics and paints. We saw a demand for a product that can meet all of those needs and that is produced from bio-based, renewable sources, and we are meeting that demand.”
Werpy will share the award with John Frye and Alan Zacher of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA.
This is not the first time and the ADM and PNNL teams have been recognized for their innovation. The development of the propylene glycol process was honored with R&D Magazine’s R&D 100 Award in 2010, and the effort between PNNL and ADM to transfer the process from laboratory to market received a Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer in 2011. In 2012, the two companies were runners-up in the Materials and Other Base Technologies category in the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards.