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DuPont To Produce New High-Performance Polymers Made with Renewable Resources


WILMINGTON, Del., June 27, 2006 - DuPont expects to begin production in 2007 of new high-performance thermoplastic resins and elastomer products made from two of its latest bio-based materials innovations. The products will be targeted for automotive, electrical/electronic and other industrial markets.

Intermediates for DuPont™ Sorona® polymer and DuPont™ Hytrel® made with renewable resources will be made from corn sugar instead of petroleum, using a patented and proprietary process. The key ingredient in Sorona® is Bio-PDO™, which replaces petrochemical-based 1,3-propanediol (PDO). The new DuPont™ Hytrel® offering is produced using a new DuPont polyol made with Bio-PDO™. Sorona® polymer for industrial applications will be commercially available mid-2007; and the renewably sourced Hytrel® grades will be available in late 2007.

“When these new products are commercialized, we will be able to offer our customers the benefits of renewably sourced materials and a reduced dependence on petrochemical sourcing that will positively impact the environmental life cycle of their products,” said Keith Smith, vice president and general manager of DuPont Engineering Polymers.

In addition to replacing petrochemicals with renewable resources, the manufacturing of Bio-PDO™ requires approximately 40 percent less energy to produce than its petrochemical-based counterpart – saving the equivalent of about 10 million gallons of gasoline per year, based on annual production volumes of 100 million pounds of Bio-PDO™. The new products will contribute to DuPont’s corporate goal of deriving 25 percent of revenue from non-depletable resources by 2010.

The performance and processing characteristics of Sorona® and renewably sourced Hytrel® are as good as or better than those of current products made wholly from petrochemicals. Among engineering plastics, Sorona® exhibits performance and molding characteristics similar to PBT (polybutylene terephthalate). Preliminary evaluations comparing the new Hytrel® grades to current offerings show improvement in some properties.

Loudon, Tenn., will be home for the world’s largest aerobic fermentation plant for the production of Bio-PDO™. The plant is owned and operated by DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts LLC, an equally owned joint venture of DuPont and Tate & Lyle. It is scheduled to come on stream later this year and will have the capacity to produce 100 million pounds of Bio-PDO™ (over 45,000 metric tons) per year.

DuPont is a world leader in the development and manufacturing of high performance materials that provide environmentally sustainable solutions that utilize renewable, farm-grown feedstocks rather than petroleum. The company’s scientific capabilities – including it’s state-of-the-art biotechnology and bio-based manufacturing processes – are being harnessed to meet the needs of customers and society.

DuPont is a science 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, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.

The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, Sorona®, Bio-PDO™ and Hytrel® are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.


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