Bio-based Lubricants Project Wins the 5th Paulson Prize for Sustainable Cities

The Paulson Institute has awarded the fifth Paulson Prize for Sustainable Cities to the Danfer Castor-Based Green Lubricating Oil project. During an event co-convened with Tsinghua University, Paulson Institute Chairman Henry M. Paulson, Jr., and Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council Chen Xu, presented the award to Yin Xuequn, Mayor of Jinhua in Zhejiang Province, where the project is located.

The Paulson Prize for Sustainable Cities, established in 2013, is awarded annually to a project in China that represents a cutting-edge approach to sustainable urbanization that can be scaled in China and beyond. This year’s winning project, developed by Chinese company Danfer, was chosen from forty applications for its broad potential to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.

The Danfer Castor-Based Green Lubricating Oil project advances sustainable urbanization by significantly reducing emissions in both the development and end-use of fuel oil. The project develops bio-based lubricating oil derived from castor seeds as a cost-effective replacement to traditional fossil fuel-based lubrications. Using bio-based castor oil in automobiles, for example, helps to reduce fossil fuel emissions and enhance fuel performance. Further upstream, the castor seeds used to produce the oil are grown on sterile land where other crops cannot grow, which allows the land to sequester carbon into the ground.

Chen Xu, Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council, stated, “As a world-renowned comprehensive research university, Tsinghua has been devoted to promoting sustainable development in China and the world for a long time. We hope that through the Paulson Prize for Sustainable Cities we can encourage more theoretical exploration and technological inventions in research institutes. Moreover, we want to see more private forces work together with those research institutes to realize these sustainability innovations and set models for the world.”

“The Danfer project exemplifies what the Paulson Prize is all about: developing an innovative approach to improve the quality of the air we breathe and the world in which we live.” said Paulson Institute Chairman Henry M. Paulson, Jr. “We hope that the Prize will shine a light on their positive example, and, in turn, help Chinese policymakers scale their early successes.”

The Paulson Prize winner is selected by an independent jury committee comprised of seven prominent Chinese and American leaders in economics, finance, energy, and ecology. The Jury includes Richard M. Daley, former Mayor of Chicago and Jury Committee Chairman; Lynn Scarlett, Global Managing Director, Public Policy, The Nature Conservancy; Dr. Robert C. Orr, Dean, the University of Maryland School of Public Policy; Huang Nubo, Chairman, Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group; Niu Gensheng, Founder and Honorary Chairman, Lao Niu Foundation; Zhao Jiarong, President, China Association of Circular Economy; and Zhuang Weimin, Dean, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University.

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About the Paulson Institute
The Paulson Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit “think and do” tank grounded in the principle that today’s most pressing economic and environmental challenges can be solved only if the United States and China—the world’s largest economies, energy consumers, and emitters of carbon—work in complementary ways. Founded in 2011 by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., the 74th Secretary of the Treasury and former Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs, the Institute is based in Chicago and has offices in Washington and Beijing.

About Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University was established in 1911. With the motto of “Self-Discipline and Social Commitment” and the spirit of “Actions Speak Louder than Words”, Tsinghua University is dedicated to the well-being of Chinese society and to world development. At present, the university has 14 schools and 56 departments with faculties in science, engineering, humanities, law, medicine, history, philosophy, economics, management, education and art. The University has now over 25,900 students, including 13,100 undergraduates and 12,800 graduate students. As one of China’s most renowned universities, Tsinghua has become an important institution for fostering talent and scientific research.