DuPont celebrates 20th anniversary of first commercial Sorona® run


Posted September 10, 2020


WILMINGTON, Del. – DuPont announced the 20th anniversary of its first commercial run for the 3G2 production line at the Kinston, N.C., plant site, signifying the launch of the world’s first 3GT polymer, known by its trademark Sorona®.


To mark this milestone, celebratory events will be held to pay honor to the history of Sorona®, and to focus on its future.


“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 been revolutionizing the world of fiber and polymers. From nylon to neoprene rubber fabric, Lycra®, Dacron® and even Tyvek® material, DuPont has spent more than a century creating textile products that transform the way we live and work. 


DuPont developed Sorona® in the late 1990s 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 doesn’t sacrifice performance.


Fibers 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 unrivaled softness, durability, odor and stain resistance, along with incredible beauty and elegance.


A few facts about Sorona®:


  • 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® fiber

  • 2018 – DuPont expands Kinston, N.C., 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.


Source: DuPont

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