The first shipments of a new corn-based polymer left a plant in Loudon, Tennessee this morning. DuPont's Bio-PDO is being produced from corn sugar designed to replace petroleum-based propanediol.
Officials with Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a subsidiary of DuPont, are hailing the new product as a milestone for agriculture.
"Bio-PDO is a new product made from corn in a fermentation process and that product is used to make new consumer goods and in many cases we are replacing the use of petroleum products," says Dean Oestreich, President of Pioneer. "So, this is pretty exciting news to both farmers who are growing corn and consumers who are taking advantage of these new products made from the renewable resources of agriculture."
Oestreich says Bio-PDO can be used in products such as carpets and apparel, and the corn-based polymer will be used in liquid detergents, personal care products, and industrial products such as de-icing fluids, antifreeze and heat transfer fluids.
The new product also has environmental benefits: DuPont says that compared to petroleum-based propanediol, production of Bio-PDO requires 40% less energy and can lower greenhouse gas emissions by 20%.
The National Corn Growers Association voiced its support for the new corn-based product.
"We are pleased to see DuPont Tate & Lyle take this important step in providing more biobased products for consumers to choose from," says NCGA President Ken McCauley. "Biobased products are increasingly displacing petroleum-made products and give our corn growers another market for corn. Corn growers continue to advance the usage of renewable products and have led the way in developing new renewable products."