DuPont Industrial Biosciences announced that Michael Saltzberg, Ph.D., global business director of DuPont Biomaterials, participated in The Future of Materials Summit, held Nov. 13-14 in Luxembourg. Saltzberg joined other materials business leaders for a discussion on “Best Practices for New Materials' Development,” led by Geoffrey Carr, science editor at The Economist and chair of the Summit.

As the leader of DuPont’s global biomaterials programs and business development, Saltzberg spearheads the development and commercialization of renewably sourced biochemicals and biomaterials based on plants rather than petroleum.

“Materials suppliers play a critical role in increasing the sustainability of supply chains across the industries that we serve, and we believe making high-performance and cost-efficient materials from plant-based feedstocks is part of the solution,” said Saltzberg. “I am looking forward to sharing the latest in DuPont’s biomaterials innovations with the group that The Economist has brought together for this Summit.”

One of DuPont’s core innovations in this space is Bio-PDO propanediol – a bio-based ingredient used in a variety of materials across a number of industries, including DuPont Sorona, a patented polymer that offers customers a more sustainable solution for fibers and other applications with better performance in key parameters than competing petroleum-based materials. Sorona is used in the textile, carpeting, and automotive markets around the world. It can bring softness, crush resistance and stretch to a growing list of products, as well as a longer life cycle compared to petroleum-based products.

At the Summit, Saltzberg also will address DuPont’s research into the commercialization of a completely new way to make high-performance polymers directly from sugar. This novel process uses an enzymatic process that closely mimics the way nature builds polymers like cellulose. He also plans to speak to materials manufacturers’ responsibility to enable environmentally friendly, end-of-life solutions, acknowledging that diverse applications and markets are best served by different technical solutions. DuPont’s biomaterials team is working hard to help ensure that end-use markets are developed for recycled materials. For instance, DuPont recently announced a collaboration with Unifi to create high-performance, renewably-sourced garment insulation made in part with recycled material and Sorona polymer, offering leading apparel brands a new sustainable choice for cold-weather products.

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