DuPont and NREL to develop world's first integrated 'bio-refinery'

develop sustainable science-based solutions."

"We at NREL are pleased to partner with DuPont in this exciting undertaking," said NREL Director Admiral Richard Truly. "With this project our nation takes a big step toward the day when we can produce many of the transportation fuels and chemical stocks we require from domestically grown corn and energy crops, as well as agricultural and forestry residues."

Operating like a conventional refinery, the ICBR will make use of the entire corn plant. Purified sugars from the corn kernel will be the primary source of value-added chemicals, while the remainder of the corn plant commonly called "the stover" will be converted into fuel-grade ethanol and electrical power.

One of those value-added chemicals could be 1,3 propanediol (PDO), the key building block for DuPont Sorona the company's newest polymer platform which can be used in applications such as textile apparel, carpeting, and packaging. Through metabolic engineering, DuPont recently developed a fermentation-based process as the basis for the manufacturing of bio-PDO. This process earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Presidential Green Chemistry award earlier this year.

Michael Pacheco, director of the National Bioenergy Center at NREL, specifically noted DuPont's leadership in biotechnology and polymers, and NREL's expertise in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass as complimentary capabilities of the two partners. "New technologies that produce fuels, chemicals, and energy from biomass will allow the U.S. to reduce its reliance on foreign sources of fossil fuels, while creating new markets for domestic grains and crop residues helping to stimulate the U.S. agricultural economy," he said.

"DuPont has a proven ability to take great ideas, work to make them more cost effective, and move them into the marketplace," Pacheco said. "The combined capabilities and years of research expertise of both DuPont and NREL crea

Contact: Anthony Farina

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