New Facility Producing Mohawk Sorona Ingredient

Loudon, TN, June 8, 2007--Mohawk Industries, Inc. enhances corporate sound environmental practices as a new DuPont Tate & Lyle plant that operating near the majestic Appalachians will produce a key ingredient for DuPont Sorona polymer from renewable agricultural resources.  A joint-venture of DuPont and Tate & Lyle, the new facility substitutes petroleum with corn sugar to create Bio-PDO, which is a key ingredient in Mohawk’s very popular SmartStrand® made with DuPont Sorona polymer.  The highlight of today’s Grand Opening Celebration is the keynote address by The Honorable Samuel W. Bodman, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy, marking this important milestone toward building a renewable economy.  The Loudon facility is the first in the world to manufacture this product using state-of-the-art industrial biotechnology.

“We’re taking carpet fiber literally from the field to the floor,” said Jeff Lorberbaum, Mohawk’s Chairman and CEO. “We’re looking forward to giving our industry another remarkable innovation — one that will benefit our dealers, our consumers, and the environment.”

The Loudon plant will supply DuPont with chemistry to make DuPont™ Sorona® renewably sourced polymer, converting corn sugars into Bio-PDO™ (1,3 propanediol), one of two key compounds used for making DuPont Sorona polymer, found only in Mohawk carpets.

Lorberbaum said using renewably sourced PDO to make Sorona polymer results in about 40 percent reduction in energy consumption. “Seven square yards of 40-ounce carpet featuring SmartStrand fiber made with DuPont Sorona renewably sourced polymer will save enough energy and natural resources equal to one gallon of gasoline,” he said.

Lorberbaum also sees the significance of this step for the carpet industry. “The environment is becoming a more and more critical consideration for our business,” he said. “Mohawk has made great strides in recycling and waste reduction, and now we’re taking another leap forward with the ability to replace petroleum with a sustainable resource. And we’re using it to make a breakthrough product for our industry.”

Both Mohawk and DuPont stressed that the new renewable resource based polymer has the same performance benefits as a petroleum-based product.

“Sorona is one of the few products available today that offers the fully functioning performance of a premium fiber that can be made with renewable resources,” said Walter Fields, Global Business Director, Bio-Based Materials for DuPont. “What’s great is that each and every carpet retailer and each and every consumer can contribute to improving our environment.”

SmartStrand fiber with DuPont Sorona renewably sourced polymer is being phased into Mohawk production and will be in place throughout the company’s product offerings this fall.

Carpets manufactured using SmartStrand fiber with DuPont Sorona renewably sourced polymer offer stain protection that actually part of each fiber — not a surface treatment that will wear off with use and cleaning. Tests show that SmartStrand fiber with DuPont Sorona renewably sourced polymer offers superior stain resistant for tough-to-remove substances including mustard, red wine, bleach, acne medication, and others. Stains can be cleaned with warm water and a mild detergent, such as Mohawk FloorCare Essentials carpet cleaner.

The fiber is also resistant to chlorine and UV light. It dries rapidly and has inherent static protection. SmartStrand fiber with DuPont Sorona renewably sourced polymer is also inherently soft, and provides fullness to the face of the carpet and a pleasing “hand” feel. The unique spring-like molecular construction of the polymer gives the fiber remarkable resilience. In fact, two years of testing at independent labs and in Mohawk’s own facilities shows that the polymer performed equal to — or better — than comparable constructions of nylon carpets in durability tests.

This resilience and other characteristics of SmartStrand fiber with DuPont Sorona renewably sourced polymer mean that it can be used in a wide variety of carpet constructions. The fiber also dyes extremely well, producing vivid, precise color.

Lorberbaum expects the alliance between DuPont and Mohawk will increasingly provide strong environmental leadership along with developing products that the consumer will purchase and the dealer will be glad to sell.

“DuPont has been a tremendous partner for us in this project,” Lorberbaum said. “Everyone in the flooring business understands what DuPont innovations have meant to our industry.”

Tate & Lyle uses innovative technology to transform corn, wheat and sugar into value-added ingredients. A leader in cereal sweeteners and starches, sugar refining, value added food and industrial ingredients, and citric acid, Tate & Lyle is also the world number-one in industrial starches and the sole manufacturer of SPLENDA® Sucralose.

To learn more about Mohawk’s SmartStrand fiber with DuPont Sorona renewably sourced polymer, see your Mohawk representative or visit the company’s websites: www.mohawk-flooring.com (consumer) or www.mohawk-today.com (Mohawk dealers only). More information about Sorona can be found at www.sorona.dupont.com.

Mohawk is a leading supplier of flooring for both residential and commercial applications. Mohawk offers a complete selection of broadloom carpet, ceramic tile, laminate, wood, stone, vinyl, rugs and other home products. These products are marketed under the premier brands in the industry, which include Mohawk, Karastan, Ralph Lauren, Lees, Bigelow, Dal-Tile, American Olean and Quick-Step. Mohawk's unique merchandising and marketing assist our customers in creating the consumers' dream. Mohawk provides a premium level of service with its own trucking fleet and more than 250 local distribution locations.

DuPont, Bio-PDO and Sorona are trademarks or registered trademarks of DuPont and are licensed to Mohawk


Related Topics:Daltile, American Olean, Mohawk Industries, Karastan