USB Recognized as Partner in Sherwin Williams’ Presidential Green Chemistry Award from EPA

A unique, four-year partnership between America’s soybean farmers and the Sherwin-Williams Company has received the Presidential Green Chemistry Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The honor recognizes the development of an innovative new paint formulation that utilizes soybean oil and recycled plastic bottles (PET) and reduces volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 60 percent.

The EPA presented Sherwin-Williams Company of Cleveland, Ohio with one of five 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards during a ceremony in Washington, DC on June 20.  EPA also recognized USB for its role in the development of the product.

See video about how chemistry using soy supported new green products:

“We know as farmers that we’re doing things that are environmentally safe, greener and sustainable,” said Bob Haselwood, USB Director & News Uses Chairman, who accepted the certificate of recognition on behalf of USB. “By using soybeans in products like those developed by Sherwin-Williams, more people will realize how the soybean industry is playing a part in the green revolution.”

Sherwin-Williams, with soybean checkoff funding and technical support from USB, developed water-based acrylic alkyd paints with low VOCs that can be made from soybean oil, PET and acrylics. Oil-based “alkyd” paints have high levels of VOCs that become air pollutants as the paint dries. Previous acrylic paints contained lower VOCs, but could not match the performance of alkyds. These new paints combine the performance benefits of alkyds and low VOC content of acrylics. The soybean oil helps to promote film formation, gloss, flexibility, and cure.

In 2010, Sherwin-Williams manufactured enough of these new paints to eliminate over 800,000 pounds of VOCs. The company has used 320,000 pounds of soybean oil, 250,000 pounds of PET, and eliminated 1,000 barrels of oil.

“Incorporating simple ingredients like soybean oil and recycled plastic bottles into a first of its kind powerful paint formula, provides a winning transformational combination for our customers and the environment,” Chris Connor, Chairman and CEO of The Sherwin-Williams Company said.

EPA’s 16th Annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards recognize pioneering chemical technologies developed by leading researchers and industrial innovators who are making significant contributions to pollution prevention in the United States. These prestigious awards recognize the design of safer and more sustainable chemicals, processes, and products that will protect Americans, particularly children, from exposure to harmful chemicals.

“EPA congratulates this year’s winners for designing and developing innovative green chemistry technologies that will result in safer chemicals for use in products, homes, schools, and workplaces that also have significant environmental and economic benefits,” Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention said.

Sherwin-Williams received the award in the Designing Greener Chemicals category.

The soybean checkoff has also supported technology development by three other companies, Cooper Power Systems, Desilube Technology, and Ashland Performance, that submitted entries for the 2011 awards. For more information on the awards visit, the EPA website.

Soy is one of the leading ingredients in biobased products, ranging from cleaning products to toner for copiers and printers, to lubricants, solvents, carpet backing and many others. USB’s web site — – offers detailed information about soy-based products.

2009 DOE Solar Decathlon

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Features Biobased Products. – University and college teams have traveled across the nation to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Solar Decathlon on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. At least four are using products made from soybeans to boost their chances in the contest of cutting-edge energy efficiency and renewable energy innovation for homes.