DuPont Developing Bio-Based Polymers for Automotive Refinishing
23 June 2006
DuPont is developing a new generation of tough, chip-resistant automotive refinish products reinforced with newly invented bio-based polymers derived from corn sugar. The new coatings—which may be available by 2008—will be made using renewably sourced intermediate ingredients that are biodegradable and virtually non-toxic.
The bio-based polymers to be used in the new finishes are based, in part, on the science used by DuPont to create 1,3 propanediol (PDO), the key ingredient in DuPont Sorona, a new polymer now used to make fibers for clothing and carpets.
The Bio-PDO corn-derived chemical 1,3, propanediol was developed by DuPont scientists at a pilot plant located at the Decatur, Illinois facility of Tate & Lyle. Tate & Lyle is a development partner with DuPont in the Bio-PDO corn-derived chemical/1,3, propanediol initiative, along with Genencor International, which developed the biocatalyst for the process. The process ferments glucose to PDO using patented microorganisms.
DuPont received the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Presidential Green Chemistry Award in 2003 for this technology. The Bio-PDO process consumes 40% less energy than its petrochemical counterpart.
PDO will be produced in a plant now being built in Tennessee by DuPont and its joint venture partner, Tate & Lyle. The plant will use a fermentation process to make Bio-PDO from corn sugar.
The inherent performance and environmental benefits of these new sealers, primers and clear coats make them incomparable to anything on the market today.
These proprietary new finishes from DuPont Performance Coatings have multiple benefits because they will be made from renewable resources and have reduced emissions. At the same time, they will deliver superior performance at a competitive price.—John McCool, vice president and general manager of DuPont Automotive Refinish Systems
The renewably sourced polymer content of the new finishes will enable them to last longer and better resist stone impact. DuPont is the world’s leading supplier of finishing products for the automobile manufacturing industry as well as aftermarket products used in collision repair centers.
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