BOSTON, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The American Chemical Society (ACS) presented the research teams involved in the development of Bio-PDO(TM) with the prestigious 2007 Heroes of Chemistry award this week at the 234th ACS National Meeting in Boston. Bio-PDO(TM) is a new 100 percent renewable ingredient -- the first of its kind in the world -- now commercially produced in Loudon, Tenn., by the DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products joint venture.
The Heroes of Chemistry Awards highlight the vital role of industrial chemical scientists and their companies in improving human welfare through successful commercial innovations and products. Recipients are selected based on the technical merit of the chemical innovation, including talent and foresight demonstrated by the nominees, the commercial impact of the products on the marketplace, and the benefits to mankind through the products' performance.
Biochemist Charlie Nakamura and process engineer Catherine Babowicz received the award on behalf of DuPont, while Dennis Adkesson of Tate & Lyle and Gregg Whited of Genencor International represented their companies. The scientists were part of a development team that included about 40 DuPont, Tate & Lyle and Genencor scientists, engineers and market development specialists who developed the technology, engineering and market plans for Bio-PDO(TM).
"This was our first test of the new tools biology has to offer, and for seven years our team dreamed of the day when we would see our petri dishes scaled up to nine-story tall fermenters," Nakamura said. "I am proud and honored to receive this recognition on behalf of a team of researchers that believed that biology can do certain things chemistry can't, and have now proved it to the world."
"The Bio-PDO(TM) project has given me the chance to work on a new and unique technology that is on the cutting edge of producing renewable products," Babowicz said. "We are combining DuPont's traditional excellence in chemistry and engineering with innovative biological processes. The result is a facility in Tennessee that is unique in many ways and is the product of a team with truly diverse backgrounds. This new process puts us on the front lines of the sustainability revolution that will forever change the way we design our products and facilities."
DuPont discovered a unique polymer in the 1940s that was known for its inherent stain resistance, UV resistance and other valued performance attributes. The polymer, now known as DuPont(TM) Sorona(R) renewably sourced polymer, required 1,3 propanediol, a costly chemical that continued to prohibit the polymer's introduction to the market. The Bio-PDO(TM) development program began with a partnership with Genencor to make propanediol from corn sugar. The success of the program resulted in a second partnership, this time with Tate & Lyle in 2000 to commercialize the new biological process to create Bio-PDO(TM). The first commercial shipment of Bio-PDO(TM) occurred in November 2006.
As interest in renewable products has grown, the market for Bio-PDO(TM) has grown. Today, Bio-PDO(TM) is not only the key ingredient in Sorona(R), it also is a versatile, biodegradable and high-performance ingredient that can be used in cosmetics, liquid detergents and industrial applications such as anti- freeze, as well as many other applications that currently use glycols. Demand for new uses of Bio-PDO(TM) continues to grow with nearly a dozen product applications to date.
The production of Bio-PDO(TM) at the world's only commercial facility in Loudon, Tenn., consumes 40 percent less energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 56 percent compared to petroleum-based propanediol. Annual production of 100 million pounds of Bio-PDO(TM) will save the energy equivalent of over 13.5 million gallons of gasoline per year, or enough to fuel more than 27,000 cars.
DuPont is a leader in the development and manufacture of high- performance materials that provide environmentally sustainable solutions utilizing bio-based technologies. These materials are based on renewable, farm-grown feedstocks rather than petroleum. The power of DuPont's scientific capabilities is creating new solutions to meet the needs of both customers and society in markets including biofuels, textiles, flooring and now consumer applications.
DuPont -- one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 20 years ago -- has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research & development investment. The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets.
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.
The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont(TM), The miracles of science(TM), Bio-PDO(TM) and Sorona(R) are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.
DuPont Bio-PDO(TM) Engineer Cathy Babowicz http://vocuspr.vocus.com/VocusPR30/Newsroom/ViewAttachment.aspx?SiteName=Dupon tNew&Entity=PRAsset&AttachmentType=F&EntityID=107444&AttachmentID=974aa525- 20a5-4253-aa68-bb706e48555e&NewWindow=true (Due to length of URL, please copy and paste into browser)
Caption: DuPont(TM) Bio-PDO(TM) Engineer Cathy Babowicz is a recipient of the 2007 ACS "Heroes of Chemistry" award for her work on the development of 1,3 propanediol from corn sugar
DuPont Biochemist Dr. Charlie Nakamura http://vocuspr.vocus.com/VocusPR30/Newsroom/ViewAttachment.aspx?SiteName=Dupon tNew&Entity=PRAsset&AttachmentType=F&EntityID=107445&AttachmentID=c3059684- df9d-4aa8-bb92-ef2753cb3b36&NewWindow=true (Due to length of URL, please copy and paste into browser)
Caption: DuPont Biochemist Dr. Charlie Nakamura currently leads the biobutanol, next generation biofuels research program. He is a recipient of the 2007 ACS "Heroes of Chemistry" award for his work on the development of Bio-PDO(TM) from corn sugar.