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Sorona celebrates 20th anniversary of first commercial run

To mark the milestone, celebratory events will be held to pay honour to the history of Sorona, and to focus on its future, the company reports

8th September 2020

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Wilmington, DE

Clothing/​Footwear, Interiors

© Sorona.© Sorona.

DuPont announced today the 20th anniversary of its first commercial run for the 3G2 production line at the Kinston, North Carolina plant site, signifying the launch of the world’s first 3GT polymer, known by its trademark Sorona. To mark the milestone, celebratory events will be held to pay honour to the history of Sorona, and to focus on its future, the company reports.

“We’re proud of the role Sorona has played over the past 20 years in making the textile industry a more sustainable place,” said Mike Saltzberg, DuPont Biomaterials global business director. “It’s exciting to be part of an industry that puts performance and sustainability at the forefront of everything they do.”

Since the early 1900s, DuPont has plaid a major part in revolutionizing the world of fibres and polymers. From nylon to neoprene rubber fabric, Lycra, Dacron and even Tyvek material, DuPont has spent more than a century creating transformative textile products.

DuPont developed Sorona in the late 1990’s by leveraging the innovative bio-based monomer Bio-PDO as the basis for the polymer. The development process for DuPont Sorona begins by harvesting feedstock and extracting glucose from the crops. Next, proprietary microorganisms are added to ferment the sugar to create Bio-PDO. TPA (terephthalic acid) is added to the monomer to create Sorona polymer, offering spinners, mills, retailers and consumers a high-quality, eco-efficient product that DuPont says doesn’t sacrifice performance.

Fibres made with Sorona polymer are currently used in various apparel applications, including athleisure and athletic wear, insulation, swimwear, outerwear, suiting, faux fur, and more. In addition to apparel applications, Sorona can be found in Mohawk SmartStrand carpet, providing “unrivalled softness, durability, odour and stain resistance, along with incredible beauty and elegance.”

Sorona facts

  • 37% of the polymer is made using annually renewable plant-based ingredients
  • The revolutionary Bio-PDOTM molecule turns a formerly petrochemical process into an eco-efficient biological one
  • Sorona is created using 30% less energy and releasing 63% fewer greenhouse gas emissions when compared to the production of Nylon 6
  • Sorona is created using 40% less energy and releasing 56% fewer greenhouse gas emissions when compared to the production of Nylon 6,6

“We wouldn’t have reached this achievement without the excellent team of people who made a quality product with a tremendous amount of heart. I was happy to be working on Sorona and loved being at work,” said Harold Thomas, former plant manager and leader of the first Sorona team – Kinston.

Highlights and milestones

2000 - Sorona becomes commercially available

2004 - DuPont forms joint venture with Tate & Lyle PLC to make products made from renewable resources such as corn. The company will produce 1,3 propanediol (PDO), the key ingredient for DuPont’s Sorona polymer

2005 - Partnership between Mohawk and DuPont begins with the launch of Sorona in residential carpet

2007- Team from DuPont, Tate & Lyle and Genencor named Heroes of Chemistry for development of Bio-PDOTM

2012 - DuPont Biomaterials announces new application advances with DuPont Sorona for the apparel market, including trousers, jeans, seamless apparel, swimwear and wrinkle release jackets

2016 - DuPont collaborates with Anta on Olympic champion uniforms

2017 - DuPont receives the Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Award for European Bio-Based Materials Company of the Year because of its innovative work with Sorona fibre

2018 - DuPont expands Kinston, North Carolina, facility to meet growing global demand for Sorona® polymer and support a circular economy

2019 - Sorona introduced as an ingredient for the first bio-based faux fur and debuts with Stella McCartney at a fashion show in Paris

2020 - DuPont implements the Common Thread Fabric Certification Program with Sorona, furthering its commitment to transparency and traceability

DuPont Sorona polymer is a breakthrough bio-based, high performance polymer offering unique benefits for the apparel industry. Sorona contains 37% annually renewable plant-based ingredients by weight and minimizes the impact on the environment without sacrificing quality and performance. From flexible yoga wear to denim to everything in-between, Sorona can make any textile look good, feel good and do good. It offers unique performance benefits, including incredible softness, stretch and recovery, and inherent stain resistance without the need for topical treatments. Sorona is a USDA certified bio-based product and received OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certification.

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