Eastman Chemical Company has launched the first product manufactured using its proprietary green manufacturing process GEM technology, formerly known as the Eastman Green Biocatalytic Process. Eastman GEM 2-Ethylhexyl Palmitate (INCI: 2-Ethylhexyl Palmitate) is a high quality, colorless, liquid emollient ester that can be formulated into skin care and color cosmetic products. According to the company, the difference between standard 2-ethyhexyl palmitate and that produced using the company's GEM technology is waste, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
The company's GEM technology uses enzymatic technology and closely controlled manufacturing conditions to make esters, eliminating the high temperature and strong acids traditionally required during their manufacture. Eastman's "gentler" technology consumes less energy while making high quality products, even when using sensitive starting materials. According to the company, the waste produced through manufacturing of the product is 0.06 kg/kg product. In addition, energy, carbon dioxide emissions, and water usage are reduced compared to conventional processes.
Eastman's GEM technology was awarded of the 2009 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award and was profiled in "A Green, Solvent-free Biocatalytic Method to Produce Cosmetic Esters," an article appearing in the June 2009 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine.