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Green Chemistry Challenge Selection Criteria

Nominated chemistry technologies that meet the scope of the program will be judged on how well they meet the following three selection criteria.

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Science and Innovation

The nominated chemistry technology should be innovative and of scientific merit.

The technology should be, for example:

  • Original (i.e., never employed before) and
  • Scientifically valid, that is, can the nominated technology or strategy stand up to scientific scrutiny through peer review? Does the nomination contain enough chemical detail to reinforce or prove its scientific validity? Has the mechanism of action been clarified via scientific research?

Human Health and Environmental Benefits

The nominated chemistry technology should offer human health and environmental benefits at some point in its lifecycle from resource extraction to ultimate disposal. Quantitative statements of benefits are more useful to the judges than are qualitative ones.

The technology might, for example:

  • Reduce toxicity (acute or chronic) or the potential for illness or injury to humans, animals, or plants
  • Reduce flammability or explosion potential
  • Reduce the use or generation of hazardous substances, the transport of hazardous substances, or their releases to air, water, or land
  • Improve the use of natural resources, for example, by substituting a renewable feedstock for a petrochemical feedstock
  • Save water or energy
  • Reduce the generation of waste, even if the waste is not hazardous

Applicability and Impact

The nominated chemistry technology should have a significant impact. The technology may be broadly applicable to many chemical processes or industries; alternatively, it may have a large impact on a narrow area of chemistry. Commercial implementation can support the applicability and impact of a technology. Nominations for pre-commercial technologies should discuss the economic feasibility of the technology.

The nominated technology should offer three advantages:

  • A practical, cost-effective approach to green chemistry
  • A remedy to a real environmental or human health problem
  • One or more technical innovations that are readily transferrable to other processes, facilities, or industry sectors

View the 2021 nomination package.

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