DuPont has contributed four patents to the Eco-Patent Commons, one of which involves waste reduction technology that uses selected enzymes to accelerate the conversion of certain non-recyclable plastics to beneficial fertilizers. Plastics that are designed to be tough and durable for applications such as packaging, appliances, and small durable consumer goods can be more quickly and completely decomposed using this technology, potentially reducing the amount of plastic that remains as landfill solid waste.
The three other DuPont patents involve the company's Lux technology for pollution detection. When exposed to an environmental stress, such as a pollutant, the patented microorganism will produce light to indicate the presence of the pollutant. This new detection technology is useful in monitoring soil, air and water quality; toxicity screening; pharmaceutical and agrochemical design; and manufacturing and fermentation process control. This technology may benefit many enterprises in the chemical, food and beverage, cosmetics, agricultural, environmental, regulatory and health care industries.
"Sustainability through science is core to DuPont's mission and we are proud to be able to provide our technology to others through the Eco-Patent Commons," said DuPont Senior Vice President and Chief Science & Technology Officer Uma Chowdhry. "The patents we have pledged are new technologies that utilize the latest thinking in the areas of biotechnology and materials science – technologies that can be socialized and adapted to reduce the global environmental footprint of the human population.