DuPont vigorously develops bio based plastics
the competitiveness of bio plastics is increasing, and the global annual demand growth will reach 19%. In this context, DuPont is working to establish a portfolio of polymer products with bio based and sustainable sources as shown in Figure 1
Rick bell, the development manager of DuPont's high-performance polymers division, said at the auto epcon conference hosted by the American Society of plastic engineers that the chemical giant predicted that in the next 15 years, half of DuPont's production line in the past few weeks would be bio based products
he said that at present, we are starting to convert polymers from petrochemical raw materials, which are the products of well-known enterprises, to biological raw materials from main overflow valves and electromagnetic directional valves. The conversion speed will largely depend on technology and economy
DuPont is investing resources to develop new bio based polymers and explore new applications of such materials. DuPont invested $6.3 billion in 2011 to acquire Danisco, a producer of special food ingredients with expertise in the enzyme industry
patricklindner, President of DuPont's high-performance polymers, told Danisco that one of its strengths is that it can obtain agricultural based raw materials And through the enzyme industry to decompose this material to produce new materials from non Petrochemical sources. Lindner participated in the acquisition of Danisco while working in the company's planning departmentLindner said that the acquisition of Danisco helped DuPont build the capacity related to biotechnology, digesting sugar or carbon sources through bacteria and producing useful chemicals
he added: "expanding this field gives us the potential to produce raw materials and polymers with lower costs and new properties."
lindner said that, for example, DuPont's soronaep thermoplastic polymer, which contains 37% renewable source materials by weight, has a shiny surface and can avoid the painting process. According to bell, Sorona material can also be used as a stain resistant fiber, and can be used in clothing, residential and automotive carpet materials. In fact, it is the fastest-growing fiber in the field of carpet materials in the United StatesBell said that the sugar raw materials used by Sorona were extracted from corn raw materials; However, DuPont will try to use raw materials that do not compete with food sources. Lindner said that the company uses castor beans grown in India as one of the nylon raw materials. Compared with petrochemical sources, using renewable sources can greatly reduce its production costs
market analyst Robert eller told that at present, the price of bio based polymers is a major obstacle to the development of the industry
he said that if buyers only care about low prices, they will not be interested in natural polymers. If we consider adopting it in time, we will still hope to obtain the same or even lower price as petrochemical products
Lindner said that this is also the problem encountered by DuPont
"a key problem we encounter in this industry is how customers who are very concerned about performance will view an equivalent renewable source product. Are they willing to pay more?" Lindner said, "do they treat it as an equivalent to pay the original price, or as a good value-added product? We see various examples."
"some people are willing to spend more money. They think that renewable sources are very important and emphasize this point in their marketing. Others believe that if the two materials are compared together, the performance is equivalent, one is renewable sources, and the other is not, and the price is similar, they will choose renewable sources products."
eller said that this view will change with the development of petrochemical sources in the future.
"Basically, they are creating a new monomer. Maybe some people see that the price of these new monomers will not rise as fast as fossil fuels in the future." He said, "this is a reasonable view."
Lindner said that he is optimistic about the future of DuPont bioplastics business.
he said: "we have invested in this area and will continue to invest, because we believe that customers will pay attention to whether they have the ability of bio based products with partners or suppliers in the future with the development of business."
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