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Chemours' John Sworen gets SCI Gordon Moore Medal

Sep '19
John Sworen. Pic: PR Newswire
John Sworen. Pic: PR Newswire
John Sworen, a technical fellow at Chemours, a company with leading market positions in titanium technologies, fluoroproducts, and chemical solutions, has bagged the 2019 SCI Gordon E. Moore Medal. He got the medal for leading a team that made Teflon EcoElite, a non-fluorinated, renewably sourced durable repellent for use in the consumer textile market.

The development of Teflon EcoElite finish is part of Chemours’ broader pledge to develop products with industry-leading sustainability profiles. The Moore Medal is awarded by The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI), America Group, and recognises early career success in innovation, as reflected both in market impact and improvement to the quality of life. Teflon EcoElite repellent was developed by a team led by Sworen between 2012 and 2015, and has been adopted by many major brand houses that manufacture consumer sportswear, including Colmar, according to Chemours.

Sworen began his career as a research investigator at Chemours’ predecessor company, DuPont. While at DuPont, he led the company’s development of surface protection products, inventing and commercialising 18 products in the space. Sworen holds a BS in chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in organic and polymer chemistry from the University of Florida. He is a six sigma black belt, has published 13 journal articles, and he holds 27 granted and pending patents.

Teflon EcoElite finish is the first renewably sourced, non-fluorinated fabric treatment for durable repellency and is manufactured with 60 per cent renewably sourced raw materials, which are not made with genetically modified organisms (GMO). This means that much of what goes into Teflon EcoElite finish can be naturally regrown and replaced over time. Simultaneously, its performance far exceeds existing non-fluorinated technologies, such as paraffin and silicones. Unlike those types of non-fluorinated finishes, fabrics with Teflon EcoElite finish can repel water and water-based stains for 30 washes or more.

Additionally, Teflon EcoElite finish is up to three times more durable than many non-fluorinated repellents, and does not impact fabric breathability, allowing for maximum comfort.

“Consumers are demanding cleaner, greener products, and with products like Teflon EcoElite, we’re positioning our customers farther up the value chain to meet that demand. Sworen’s innovation is a game-changer for the textile industry, and we are so proud that he has received this hard-earned recognition. At Chemours, we are committed to leading our industry forward on the issues of social and environmental responsibility – and Sworen’s development of Teflon EcoElite repellent is a shining example of that commitment,” Paul Kirsch, president of Fluoroproducts at Chemours said. (GK)

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