Tate & Lyle Citric Acid, a subsidiary of UK-based Tate & Lyle PLC, has entered into a joint development agreement with DuPont's bio-based materials business to develop the process of manufacturing advanced polymers from renewable sources, Nonwovens Network reported yesterday. The two companies will work on the process of turning a carbohydrate base into 1-3 propanediol (PDO) which is used to manufacture DuPont's new Sorona polymer. Sorona is envisaged as having a wide range of applications in textiles, upholstery fabrics and resins. "This alliance represents another step forward in our ability to commercially produce PDO from corn starch or other low-cost fermentable carbohydrates which are renewable sources," said Ellen J Kullman, DuPont's vice president and general manager. "We bring the micro-organism, market knowledge and process technology to the alliance, while Tate & Lyle brings bio-chemical and fermentation expertise, site infrastructure and access to raw materials," she concluded. It is expected that a pilot plant for the process will be completed by the end of the year.