DuPont, the 202-year-old science company headquartered in Delaware, announced last week that it has formed a joint venture with Tate & Lyle PLC to products made from renewable resources such as corn. These products will continue to have numerous textile end-uses.

The new company, called DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts LLC, will be based in Delaware and use a proprietary fermentation and purification process to produce 1,3 propanediol (PDO), the key ingredient for DuPont’s Sorona polymer.

DuPont launched Sorona two years ago, and the product has found great success in the apparel and textile industry because of its stain-resistance, softness, stretch and recovery capability and UV and chlorine resistance. Fabrics made with Sorona are used worldwide, especially in the activewear, swimwear, ready-to-wear, outerwear and intimate apparel sectors.

Sorona’s licensees and mill customers currently include Invista in the United States, DuPont/Sabanci in Europe, Toray in Japan, and 10 mills in China and Taiwan.

Currently, Sorona is made from PDO created from petroleum sources. The new corn-derived version, called Bio-PDO, will hit the market it 2006. The enviroment-friendly move will help DuPont in its quest to derive 25% of its revenues from non-depletable, non-petroleum-based resources by the year 2010.

The launch of the second phase of the Sorona "Start of Smart" marketing campaign coincides with the news of the joint venture. The campaign will include new print ads, an upgrade to the Sorona website (www.sorona.dupont.com) and trade-show appearances and support, among other initiatives.