Fibre giant DuPont Textiles & Interiors (DTI) is extending its research alliance with the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) of India.

DuPont and NCL first formed the alliance in 1994, and have renewed and expanded the areas of research over the past eight years. Results from the most recent extension of the alliance, in 1999, included breakthroughs regarding the purification of terephthalic acid, a key ingredient in polyester, with the potential to deliver significant cost savings at the operating plant.

"We are extremely pleased with the continuity and consistent high calibre of our interactions with NCL," said James A. Trainham, vice president-R&D and chief technology officer for DTI.

"Our R&D business model in DTI is to tap all sources of technology development around the world, and NCL is a fine example of the cadre of talent available to us. We have taken a long-term view of development in Asia/Pacific, supported by strong research. It is our hope to expand our relationships with leading laboratories such as NCL consistent with our drive to build business in the region," he said.

Under the new agreement, DTI and NCL are undertaking research into novel reactor systems for processes relevant to DTI, with particular emphasis on catalysis.

Ashok K Dhingra, director of the DTI Technology Office for India, noted that one of the unique accomplishments of the DTI-NCL relationship - with scientists located in India, the United Kingdom, and the United States - is its success in carrying out the projects across geographically dispersed sites, organisations and cultures.