The DuPont Experimental Station research and development facility -- home to some of the world's most important scientific discoveries -- was established more than 100 years ago, in 1903. As one of the first industrial research laboratories in the world, the 150-acre campus-style Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware, is the birthplace of many of the innovative materials and products developed by DuPont, including:
- Neoprene - the world's first synthetic rubber
- Nylon – the world’s first fully synthetic fiber
- Tyvek® nonwovens protective materials
- Kevlar® aramid fiber
- Butacite® polyvinyl butyral
- Sulfonylurea environmentally compatible herbicides
- Suva® refrigerants
- Nomex® brand fiber
- Bio-PDO™ Bio-based 1,3 propanediol (PDO)
- Sorona® renewably sourced polymers
- Plenish™ High Oleic Soybeans.
Today, the Experimental Station serves as the primary research and development center for DuPont in advanced materials and one of two primary research centers in industrial biotechnology and agricultural science. Here more than 2,000 scientists and researchers pursue science-based solutions for global markets including agriculture, nutrition, energy, transportation, electronics, safety and protection, construction, coatings and performance materials. Collaborating with partners around the world to build on a legacy of scientific discovery, they create solutions that help increase food production and delivery, decrease the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, and protect lives and the environment.
See some of the well-known inventions made at the DuPont Experimental Station over the last century.
Research and development now under way involves fields such as nanotechnology, high efficiency photovoltaics, materials for energy storage, advanced biofuels, renewably-sourced polymers, analytical systems for food safety, and seeds with higher yields and increased end use value. These developments could lead to foods that help prevent diseases and brittle bones, "smart" materials that can adjust performance on their own, microorganisms that produce biodegradable products and innovative materials for personal protection.
"When the Experimental Station opened over 100 years ago, our focus was to move DuPont from an explosives company to become a global chemicals and materials company," said chief innovation officer Tom Connelly. "Today, as part of our next transformation, we put our science to work to make real differences in everyday life. Our ability to evolve in response to the dynamic external environment has established DuPont as one of the world's most innovative companies. The Experimental Station and all of its people over the years have truly provided advances that have helped make life better, safer and healthier."