Boston, Massachusetts - The American Chemical Society (ACS) made the researchers who developed Bio-PDO (propanediol) Heroes of Chemistry in its 2007 awards at the 234th ACS National Meeting in Boston, 28 Aug. Bio-PDO is a 100-percent renewable ingredient now commercially produced in Loudon, Tennessee, by a joint venture between DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products Biochemist Charlie Nakamura and process engineer Catherine Babowicz received the award on behalf of DuPont, while Dennis Adkesson of Tate & Lyle and Gregg Whited of Genencor International represented their companies. These scientists were part of a team that included about 40 scientists, engineers and market development specialists from the three companies who developed the technology, engineering and market plans for Bio-PDO. DuPont has recently also used the Bio-PDO to develop polyols for use in a variety of polyurethane compositions. Tradenamed Cerenol, the polyols are being made at DuPont facilities in the US and Canada. The process involves polymerising Bio-PDO (1,3-propanediol) made by the fermentation of sugars derived from corn kernels. The materials, with molecular weights from 500 to 3000, can be used to make a wide range of products including running shoes and ski boots, automotive consistent and reliable set of properties, "unlike soybean and other plant-derived polyols," said DuPont. "For seven years our team dreamed of the day when we would see our petri dishes scaled up to nine-story tall fermenters," Nakamura said, in a DuPont press statement. "I am proud and honoured to receive this recognition on behalf of a team of researchers that believed that biology can do certain things chemistry can't, and have now proved it to the world."We are combining DuPont's traditional excellence in chemistry and engineering with innovative biological processes. ... This new process puts us on the front lines of the sustainability revolution that will forever change the way we design our products and facilities," said Babowicz.Production of Bio-PDO at Loudon uses 40 percent less energy and cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 56 percent compared to production of petroleum-based propanediol, DuPont claims. PIC: "Petri dishes scaled up to nine-story tall fermenters," DuPont biochemist Charlie Nakamura."