DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts (DPTL) is a
joint venture between DuPont and Tate & Lyle which provides natural and
renewably sourced industrial materials. In collaboration with Climalife, DPTL
has developed and launched a new line of heat transfer fluids (HTF) under the
brand name Greenway.
The Greenway fluids are marketed for use in
solar thermal (AKA concentrating solar power) applications. The key
ingredient in the heat transfer fluids is DPTL's Susterra
brand propanediol, a bio-based glycol.
DPTL owns several patents and pending applications
relating to its bio-derived propanediol (Bio-PDO), including U.S. Patent No. 7,988,883 ('883 Patent), specifically
directed to use of Bio-PDO in heat transfer compositions.
Entitled "Heat transfer compositions comprising
renewably-based biodegradable 1,3-propanediol," the '883 Patent is directed to
heat transfer or antifreeze compositions comprising biologically-derived
1,3-propanediol having a bio-based carbon content of at least 1%.
The independent claims of the '883 Patent include a
recitation that the composition "has a lower anthropogenic CO2 emission profile"
compared to 1,3 propanediol with no bio-based carbon. The Bio-PDO can be
generated by genetically-engineered E.coli bacteria or other
The patent makes the argument that its bio-based
process is carbon-neutral. According to the '883 Patent, the compositions
have less environmental impact because they take their carbon from plant
feedstocks and release the carbon into the atmosphere to be used by plants
The biologically derived 1,3-propanediol (Bio-PDO) for
use in the current invention, produced by the process described herein,
contains carbon from the atmosphere incorporated by plants, which compose the
feedstock for the production of Bio-PDO. In this way, the Bio-PDO used in the
compositions of the invention contains only renewable carbon, and not fossil
fuel based, or petroleum based carbon. Therefore the compositions of the
invention have less impact on the environment as the propanediol used in the
compositions does not deplete diminishing fossil fuels and, upon degradation
releases carbon back to the atmosphere for use by plants once again. Thus, the
present invention can be characterized as more natural and having less
environmental impact than similar compositions comprising petroleum based
Like some of the patent litigation involving solar ovens and solar mounting systems, the Greenway HTF product
containing patented propanediol is another example of green IP extending into
downstream solar and penetrating the niche market opportunities offered by
the clean tech industry.
View more from the Green Patent Blog.
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