GC3 Member Update - August 2021


$5M in Sustainable Chemistry R&D Funding Announced by DOE

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) recently released a Funding Opportunity Announcement that includes $5 million for advancing sustainable chemistry projects in manufacturing practices—a top priority for the GC3 Sustainable Chemistry Alliance. In December, we announced that our language encouraging the allocation of $5M in funding in DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) budget for sustainable chemistry innovation had been included in the omnibus appropriations bill.

The GC3 Sustainable Chemistry Alliance spent much of 2020 advocating for the expansion of funding for sustainable chemistry across agencies, including DOE. In November, GC3 co-hosted a virtual stakeholder workshop with AMO, in which the entire value chain and many GC3 members were represented.

Workshop participants provided feedback on AMO’s efforts to incorporate sustainable chemistry processes and practices into the manufacturing of consumer and commercial products. These insights helped inform the DOE’s decisions and structuring for funding sustainable chemistry projects according to the report: “At a recent AMO hosted Sustainable Chemistry Roundtable, 33 stakeholders throughout the chemical supply chain identified the R&D needed to advance the incorporation of sustainable chemistry into material manufacturing and industrial practices.”

Importantly, the sustainable chemistry grants will be focused on R&D in platform molecules/materials and processes, representing basic chemicals the use of which makes the greatest impact across the supply chain. As the proposal notes, “To fully incorporate sustainable chemistry into the manufacturing of chemicals, products, and materials, collaboration is needed. R&D efforts should involve suppliers, formulators/fabricators, packagers/fillers, retailers, consumers, and waste management specialists.” To this end, applications that encourage collaboration and information sharing by creating teams that include multiple stages of the supply chain are preferred.

GC3 Startup Member Pyran Receives Funding

Pyran, Inc. recently announced a round of funding secured from Arosa Capital Management and Wisconsin Alumni Research Funding (WARF). Founded in 2017 by a group of chemical engineers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pyran uses renewable feedstocks from crop resources, such as corn cobs, to make 1,5- pentanediol (PDO) – a key ingredient that enhances the performance of everyday materials, such as paints, coatings, adhesives and more. The company’s renewable 5- carbon products replace expensive, petroleum-based chemicals, which are limited in supply, at a cost of more than 40% below today’s market price.

With the latest round of fundraising, Pyran is taking several important steps as it pursues full commercialization: hiring an experienced CEO; scaling capacity; and applying for additional matching grants that will expand the company’s product and technology portfolio.

2021 US Innovators Roundtable Postponed to 2022

The GC3’s 16th Annual US Innovators Roundtable, originally scheduled for October, 2021, will be postponed to early 2022. We’re not sure yet whether we can pull off an in-person meeting, but if not, we will introduce you to an exciting new virtual platform that offers fantastic networking and opportunities for Roundtable sponsors to promote their sustainable chemistry work to an audience that spans the value chain. Stay tuned for dates and more information.

Silicone Chemistry Alternatives Challenge

After developing the Specification for Silicone Chemistry Alternatives for Cosmetics and Personal Care Products earlier this year, the GC3 is ready to take the next step. We are introducing an alternatives challenge to identify a pool of safer, more sustainable alternatives that meet the criteria set out in the specifications document. The alternatives challenge will solicit existing chemistries and novel chemistries.

We are seeking sponsors for the challenge, who may be any company along the value chain. Sponsors will help narrow the scope of the challenge to applications and functions that meet their specific priorities, as well as showcase their leadership in sustainable chemistry.

To learn more about the challenge, click here. The deadline for sponsorship opportunities is August 31, 2021. Please contact Julie Manley for more information.