The Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals (SBFC) has awarded DuPont with its 2013 Bioeconomy Leadership Award. 2013 marks the first year of this award, aimed at honoring an organization for demonstrated and sustained leadership excellence in advancing the development of the biobased economy. DuPont was recognized for its pioneering work in two strategic areas: renewably sourced materials and fuels.
The annual SBFC conference brought together from 29 April to 2 May in Portland (Oregon, Usa) industrial, academic and government experts to discuss the latest progress and breakthroughs in the research, development and deployment of biobased fuels and materials.
“DuPont is committed to the biobased economy. Our approach to realizing that vision is through integrated science. We merge industrial biotechnology with traditional skills in chemistry, materials sciences, agronomy and engineering to accelerate commercial development and deployment of products made in an entirely new, renewable way,” said Mike Arbige, Research and Development leader for DuPont Industrial Biosciences, who accepted the award on behalf of DuPont. “It is an honor to be the first recipient of this award. We will continue to innovate and drive commercial deployment of renewable materials and fuels in order to meet the needs of our growing population.”
In the field of renewably sourced materials, the SBFC recognized DuPont’s first commercial shipments of Bio-PDO from its Loudon, Tennessee, plant – the first facility to produce the versatile, renewable biobased product. Bio-PDO is used in cosmetics, apparel and industrial applications such as deicing fluid. Bio-PDO also was noted for its advancement of high-performance fibers such as DuPont Sorona, which is stain resistant and highly durable. In addition, DuPont’s continued advancements in biobased isoprene development based on microbial fermentation of renewable sugars also drew attention from SBFC.
In the field of renewable biofuels, the SBFC recognized DuPont for its rapid development of cellulosic ethanol and biobutanol technologies. DuPont has been operating a demonstration cellulosic ethanol facility in Vonore, Tennessee, since 2009; and last November, DuPont broke ground on its commercial scale 30 million gallons per year cellulosic ethanol facility in Nevada, Iowa. The facility will be among the first and largest cellulosic biorefineries in the world upon completion in 2014. As well, DuPont was recognized for engineering a yeast strain that produces isobutanol from sugars, eliminating energy intensive purification steps; and for establishing a new protocol to provide a sustainable source of biomass. This work is driving innovation across the supply chain, including new harvesting equipment and residue management practices that yield benefits for farmers.