November 25, 2014

25/11/2014: ADM R&D Leader Receives Innovation Award

American Chemical Society presents Affordable Green Chemistry award for commercial production of propylene glycol

Dr Todd Werpy, Archer Daniels Midland Company’s (NYSE: ADM) 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 Dr. John Frye and Mr. Alan Zacher of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington.

“This shows that innovation is a collaborative effort, and that it can come in many forms,” Werpy said.

 “The creation of a new product in the lab represents one kind of innovation. And the process of taking that product to economical, commercial-scale production is another. I am proud and thankful to work at a company where such creativity is encouraged and supported every day. The environment here at ADM—among colleagues and leaders—is one in which new ideas and new discoveries flourish. For a scientist, there is nothing better.”

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 honoured 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.

Read more HERE.

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