MIDLAND, Mich.—Dow Chemical Co. and Koehler Paper Group received a 2017 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.
The award, in the greener chemicals category, was given for the development of Ropaque NT-2900 opaque polymer for Blue 4est thermal paper. This is the 11th time Dow and its affiliates have received the award since its introduction in 1996, according to a statement.
Blue 4est is a sustainable thermal paper for applications such as cash register receipts, tickets, tags and labels. The technology, which is compatible with existing printers, is free of chemical developers and removes chemicals of concern from production consistent with the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute's green chemistry principles.
Instead of relying on a chemical reaction to provide a color change as with conventional thermal paper, colored paper is masked by a coating consisting of engineered hollow spheres. Precise chemical control during production of the hollow spheres controls the wall thickness and void size to form a highly reflective particle from an otherwise clear polymer. Mild heating with a thermal print head collapses the spheres, destroying the reflectivity and allowing the background color to show through.
This award is one of several Dow has received for its focus on eliminating chemicals of concern for products with more sustainable environmental profiles. Other recognitions include the 2017 U.S. EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award, the 2017 Edison Awards for breakthrough technologies and the 2016 Sustainability Product of the Year Award from Business Intelligence Group.
The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards promote the environmental and economic benefits of developing and using novel green chemistry. The annual awards are sponsored by EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention in parternship with the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute and other members of the chemical community.