Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA honors Calif. companies Amyris and Solazyme for using green chemistry to create renewable and sustainable plant-based fuels

Release Date: 10/16/2014
Contact Information: Suzanne Skadowski, 415-972-3165,

SAN FRANCISCO – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Amyris Inc. in Emeryville and Solazyme, Inc., in South San Francisco, Calif. with Presidential Green Chemistry Awards for creating renewable and sustainable plant-based fuels and other products. The Calif. companies are among five organizations nationwide honored for developing safer chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the generation of hazardous substances.

“Green chemistry technologies have real world results -- reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions while saving water and other scarce resources,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Amyris and Solazyme are on the cutting edge, creating sustainable solutions for our most challenging energy issues and helping to grow California’s economy.”

The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards were presented in five categories: academic, small business, greener synthetic pathways, greener reaction conditions and designing greener chemicals.

Amyris Inc. -- Farnesane: a breakthrough renewable hydrocarbon for diesel and jet fuel

In the small business category, Amyris Inc., in Emeryville, Calif. was recognized for engineering a yeast to convert plant-based sugars into a renewable fuel replacement for petroleum diesel. Buses and trucks with their new fuel could reduce 82 percent of greenhouse gas emissions compared to buses running on petroleum diesel. Since carbon pollution increases our costs in health care and other impacts, this technology could save tens of thousands of dollars per bus and truck each year.

"We are honored to be recognized by the EPA for our commitment to transform industries through product innovation and superior performance. At Amyris, we apply inspired science to deliver sustainable products for use in cosmetics, perfumes, detergents and fuels", said Zanna McFerson, Amyris Chief Business Officer. "Through our product innovation, we are already having a positive impact on the environment and for hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide. We look forward to continuing to deliver on our mission to change the world one molecule at a time.”

Solazyme Inc. -- Tailored oils produced from microalgal fermentation

In the green chemicals category, Solazyme, Inc., in South San Francisco, Calif. was recognized for developing renewable oils from plant-based sugar and engineered microalgae in a way that significantly reduces the environmental effects that typically occur in producing and processing petroleum-based or plant-based oils. Soaps and detergents, food products, and motor vehicle and jet fuels, can now be produced with greatly reduced energy, water and waste, saving money and natural resources. The company’s palm-oil equivalent can help reduce deforestation and greenhouse gases that can occur from cultivation of palm oil.

“We are dedicated to solving some of the world’s biggest problems by unlocking the power of microalgae, one of the smallest and most ancient life forms, to help create a more sustainable future for people and our planet,” said Jonathan Wolfson, Solazyme Chief Executive Officer. “Through this pursuit, Solazyme’s renewable oils and innovative new products are helping to transform industries as well as drive greener alternatives that can alleviate pressures on fragile ecosystems. We are truly honored by the recognition of the Administration and EPA.”

EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Program award winners have significantly reduced the hazards associated with designing, manufacturing, and using chemicals. In 19 years of the program, winning technologies have reduced more than 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals, saved 21 billion gallons of water, and eliminated 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent releases to the atmosphere. An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute formally judged submissions from nominated technologies and made recommendations to EPA for the 2014 winners.

More information:

# # #