AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Michael J. Krische, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for his innovative work developing a new class of chemical transformations that eliminate waste production.
Krische received this award during a June 26 ceremony hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C.
The EPA's green chemistry award program recognizes leaders in the scientific community who create solutions to environmental problems associated with the design, manufacture and use of chemicals.
Elemental hydrogen is the most abundant molecule in the universe. Chemical reactions that add hydrogen to other molecules, called "hydrogenations," are conducted industrially on a vast scale and are used to form carbon-hydrogen bonds.
Krische has developed a new class of hydrogenations that promote carbon-carbon (C-C) bond formation.
The creation of chemical bonds between carbon atoms is of fundamental significance. Most C-C bond formations generate byproducts. In the "C-C bond forming hydrogenations" developed by Krische, all atoms present in the starting molecules, plus hydrogen, appear in the product, enabling byproduct-free manufacture of diverse chemical products ranging from pharmaceuticals to perfumes and pesticides.
Krische's groundbreaking work in this area has garnered increasing recognition. This year, he was also awarded the Elias J. Corey Award from the American Chemical Society for outstanding original contributions to organic synthesis by a young investigator, and the Dowpharma Prize for his innovation in the field of chemical synthesis.