DuPont and Tate & Lyle to Open $100 Million Bioproducts Plant

DuPont and Tate & Lyle to Open $100 Million Bioproducts Plant

A new $100 million plant now under construction in Tennessee will help create a biobased economy that uses renewable resources to make high-performance products, according to an announcement by DuPont chairman and CEO Charles O. Holliday, Jr. and Tate & Lyle PLC chief executive Iain Ferguson.

DuPont and Tate & Lyle have formed a joint venture to build the plant, which will use renewable resources to replace petrochemical-based products. DuPont and Tate & Lyle scientists have developed a new method to use corn to produce 1,3 propanediol (PDO). This new product, Bio-PDO, is a key ingredient in the production of DuPont Sorona, the newest DuPont polymer for clothing, carpeting, plastics and many other possible uses.

The production of Bio-PDO consumes 30-40 percent less energy than petroleum-based PDO (on a per pound basis). Production of 100 million pounds of Bio-PDO in the Loudon plant will save the equivalent of 10 million gallons of gasoline per year.

"The world is in a position today where we can no longer afford to rely solely on oil and oil-derived products to sustain us," DuPont's Holliday said. "Biology-based solutions offer us the opportunity to transform economies by creating new, high-performance bio-materials that use less energy to manufacture, are preferred by our customers and are better for the long-term health of our economy and the environment."

"We think the time for corn is now and that we are ideally placed to bring this new bio-based material to market," said Tate & Lyle's Ferguson. "The corn fields of today will be the oilfields of the future and we believe that our joint venture, due on stream next calendar year, is well matched to meet the demands of the current climate."

"This $100 million investment by DuPont and Tate & Lyle will help keep our state on the cutting edge for biotechnology-related industry," said Tennessee Governor Phil Bredsen. "I'm also pleased to see new manufacturing jobs created in East Tennessee, and that these new products will be focused around renewable resources."

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency presented DuPont with its annual Presidential Green Chemistry Award in 2003 for the company's research leading to the development of the Bio-PDO process.