DuPont scientist Dr. Scott Nichols recently unveiled the latest findings. Traditionally, fibers are petroleum-based materials. DuPont, with joint development partner Genencor International, developed a bio-based method that uses renewable resources instead of typical petrochemicals. Through metabolic engineering of biochemical pathways, a microorganism was engineered to use sugars from corn and corn biomass in a fermentation-based process. From annually renewable agricultural products, DuPont can now produce 1,3
propanediol (PDO), the key building block for DuPont Sorona – the company's newest polymer platform
"Until now, most fibers have been produced using a petroleum-based process," Nichols said. "Now, after seven years of research in conjunction with Genencor International, we have honed a bio-based process, using renewable resources like corn and new abilities of E.coli to deliver an organism that can reliably produce PDO. The organism converts renewable corn sugar into reliably pure, consistent, and commercially viable amounts of PDO. The path to bio-based Sorona combines the emerging metabolic engineering discipline with the premiere polymer science capabilities of DuPont."