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Sorona Renewably Sourced Fiber for Fashion

DuPontTM has been the world leader in fiber technology since the early 1900's. From the ground-breaking fibers like the versatile nylon, Dacron® polyester, neoprene rubber fabric, elastic Lycra®, bullet-proof Kevlar®, and Teflon®, DuPontTM has created extraordinary textile products that have transformed contemporary living.

DuPont™ Sorona® renewably sourced fiber is proof of the DuPont commitment to create innovative solutions that help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A breakthrough addition to biopolymer solutions, Sorona® allows mills and designers to combine the benefits of renewability without sacrificing the need for a versatile material that offers high performance and design freedom across applications.

A leading biopolymer, Sorona® contains 37 percent annually renewable plant-based ingredients. Even better is its environmental footprint. Producing Sorona® uses 30 percent less energy and releases 63 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to the production of nylon 6. Compared to nylon 6,6 Sorona® production uses 40% less energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 56%.

Sorona® biopolymer is used in residential and commercial carpets, apparel and automotive mats and carpets. With the highest bio-based content in the synthetic carpet fiber market, Sorona® offers durability and stain resistance.

One of the first high-performance fibers derived from rapidly renewable material, Sorona® continues their impressive record of textile innovation.

Apparel manufacturers appreciate that Sorona® combines the best of both nylon and polyester in one fiber, delivering extraordinary softness, exceptional comfort stretch, brilliant color and easy care. All of these attributes enhance the look, feel and quality of active wear, swimwear, intimates, denim and other apparel.

By using glucose as the basis for Bio-PDO™, a bio-based monomer, DuPont created a renewably sourced ingredient for bio-based fibers, like DuPont™ Sorona®, which is used in everyday products such as carpet and apparel.

Bio-PDO™ Research and Development

The research into Bio-PDO™ began with a realization by Tim Gierke, Research Manager at DuPont Central Research & Development, that 1,3-Propanediol (PDO) has three carbons, and nature is filled with three-carbon and six-carbon forms. A team of DuPont scientists and engineers collaborated with polymer experts to discuss the possibilities of biological production of PDO. This led to a research project that lasted over a decade, eventually leading to a biological process that would achieve the quantities of PDO needed for a commercially viable product.

Next, DuPont scientists partnered with Genencor scientists to develop the organism that would use the glucose (sugar) from corn starch to produce PDO. They also developed a proprietary fermentation process, followed by meticulous cleaning and distillation, to end up with a pure form of Bio-PDO™.

Bio-PDO™ plant was built in Loudon, TN as a joint venture between DuPont and Tate & Lyle.

Railcars full of corn arrive at the Tate & Lyle corn wet mill, where the glucose is produced from the corn starch and then pumped from the wet mill to the Bio-PDO™ production facility.

At the production facility, a micro-organism is added to the glucose. Five nine-story-tall fermentors are filled with the organism and glucose. The organism then excretes Bio-PDO™, forming a broth.

Next, the Bio-PDO™ broth is separated and distilled to a form that is 99.97% pure, with the remainder primarily water. The Bio-PDO™ is then loaded into rail cars and shipped to various customers around the world, where they process it into their own products.

Learn more about DuPont™ Sorona®.


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