Consistently innovating new solutions to meet customer demand, DuPont teams took home three 2023 Edison Awards, two Silver Awards and one Bronze, for market-leading solutions in aerospace, water, and automotive adhesives. Each of these innovations, and the teams powering them, were recognized with 2023 Edison Awards for their ingenuity and their benefits to the planet – two traits that are inherent to DuPont’s purpose to empower the world with essential innovations to thrive.
Established in 1987, The Edison Awards™ recognize excellence in new product and service development, marketing, design, and innovation. Developed and maintained in the legacy of Thomas Edison, The Edison Awards™ “symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Edison and his Menlo Park team, while also strengthening the human drive for innovation, creativity, and ingenuity.”
Three DuPont innovations awarded in 2023 include:
Helping the aerospace industry thrive in flight
Did you know? According to the Air Transport Action Group, worldwide flights produce about 915 million tons of CO2, most of which is caused by fuel consumption. And as air travel and fuel consumption is expected to grow, so then will emissions.
With more than 99% of aircraft fuel consumed during operation, the relationship between emission reduction and fuel consumption is intrinsically linked, meaning to make air travel more sustainable, we need to tackle fuel consumption. One effective way of decreasing the fuel needed to keep an aircraft in flight is called lightweighting, or decreasing the weight of the aircraft while maintaining the same loading capability.
DuPont’s Aerospace team was equipped and empowered to answer the call. The team developed a new, ultra-thin and ultra-light honeycomb paper product, the lightest in the market, for use in aircraft cabins to help drive effective lightweighting. The new product, Kevlar® 1 mil N636 paper, is 20-30% lighter than the next comparable material, and initial applications in the cabin showed this results in about 3-4% reduction in overall aircraft weight, while offering additional benefits that come with lighter designs, including a lower cost to operate.
Application of this thin and light paper doesn’t need to stop in retrofitting of existing aircraft cabins. Our customers also believe this material could be used in new designs for emerging applications with low load bearing requirements, including electric planes and drones, and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft designs.
Recycling wastewater with new membrane solution
As populations continue to grow and changes in climate unfold, access to freshwater is becoming more limited. In fact, according to the World WildLife, about 2.7 billion people experience water scarcity, and by 2025, 2 out of 3 people in the world may experience water shortages.
To help improve water security, innovative measures like recycling industrial wastewater are critical, but not without their challenges.
Many of DuPont’s industrial customers face the need to be more water resilient in a world with increased freshwater scarcity, and as a result, many are turning to processing and recycling their own wastewaters.
Reverse osmosis membranes can be used as a final wastewater refining step to achieve high quality water for reuse in cooling towers and boilers. Membranes remove unwanted salts and trace contaminants, but they can struggle due to an issue called fouling – the buildup of contaminates on a membrane’s surface. Fouling decreases the ability of the membrane to pass water, creating the need for a more energy intensive, higher pressure filtration operation. Cleaning maintenance is used to recover the membrane performance, but too frequently leads to high chemical costs, shorter membrane lifetime and more waste generation.
To help combat the challenges of wastewater reuse and in an aim to increase access to clean water, DuPont’s experts responded with a new, high-productivity membrane, FilmTec™ Fortilife™ CR200, which maximizes operational efficiency and combats fouling – even in some of our world’s most challenging waters.
CR200's increased capability for water reuse reduces demand for water drawn from local sources, such as ground and surface water. The exceptional design of CR200 elements compared to standard reverse osmosis elements provides wastewater reuse systems the ability to operate with a 50% reduction in cleanings, a 20% reduction in energy consumption, and less waste from cleaning chemicals and element replacement.
The result? More efficient wastewater purification.
Driving the auto industry toward efficiency with new adhesive
Back on land, vehicle assembly and maintenance are becoming increasingly efficient and better for the environment, and DuPont’s Adhesives team has an award-winning role to play.
A replacement windshield must provide the same level of quality and safety as the original vehicle manufacturer while reducing environmental impact. With this in mind, DuPont developed BETASEAL™ APEX, a primerless-to-glass adhesive. BETASEAL™ APEX decreases impact on the environment while returning the vehicle to original specifications, simplifying installation of the replacement windshield, and providing consistent quality and Advances Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensor compatibility. The new innovative material offers less than two hours Minimum Driveaway Time (MDAT), creating a key differentiator for vehicle owners. In addition, BETASEAL™ APEX simplifies the installation process with an innovative primerless technology that eliminates the use of organic solvent-containing primers, thus reducing processing complexity and VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions.
DuPont’s internal calculations show that over 25,000 liters of solvent are no longer emitted into the atmosphere in North America alone by using BETASEAL™ APEX.
DuPont’s commitment to innovation
DuPont has a longstanding commitment to creating sustainable innovations to help society thrive and address its most pressing challenges, specifically through solutions for electronics, water, protection, industrial technologies, and next generation automobiles.
The esteemed acknowledgement of these Edison Awards reminds us of the impact we can achieve, both for people and our planet, by bringing cutting-edge technologies to market.
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