DuPont Turns Corn Into Oil

John Davis

No, it’s not corn oil… it’s propanediol, a corn-sugar based product that replaces petroleum in many uses.

DOE - Samuel BodmanU.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman today in Loudon, Tennessee joined officials from DuPont Tate & Lyle in a joint venture to open a $100 million Bio-PDO(TM) facility… the world’s first of its kind. Check out this release posted on PR Newswire:
DuPont Tate & Lyle logo
Bio-PDO(TM) is a versatile, biodegradable and high-performance ingredient that can be used in cosmetics, liquid detergents and industrial applications such as anti-freeze and many other applications that currently use glycols. It also can be used as a monomer to produce unsaturated polyester resins as well as other specialty polymers such as DuPont(TM) Sorona(R) and the latest renewably sourced polymer, DuPont(TM) Cerenol(TM). In addition, renewably sourced Hytrel(R) thermoplastic elastomers and a new line of renewable DuPont automotive finishes are two new product lines scheduled to launch later this year. The first commercial product was sold in November 2006, and demand for new uses of Bio-PDO(TM) continues to grow with nearly a dozen product applications.

The plant will use a special fermentation process developed jointly by DuPont and Tate & Lyle to produce Bio-PDO using corn sugar instead of petroleum-based feedstocks.

PDO ProcessThere are two products that come out of Bio-PDO: Zemea(TM) and Susterra(TM) propanediol. Zemea is used for personal cleaning products and liquid detergents due to its high purity and low irritation. Susterra is used in de-icing fluids, anti-freeze and heat transfer fluids because of its low toxicity and biodegradability.

You can see more about this interesting new product at the Dupont Tate & Lyle web site (