PASADENA, California – December 7, 2021 – Materia Inc., a high performance structural materials company that has pioneered the development of Nobel Prize-winning technology for the manufacture of a new class of polymers, today announced hui its acquisition by ExxonMobil Chemical Co., a division of ExxonMobil Corp.
This acquisition combines Materia’s Nobel Prize-winning technology with ExxonMobil’s complementary proprietary processes and world-class manufacturing capabilities to bring these new sustainable structural polymers to a larger commercial scale.
Materia has been working since its inception in 1999 on the development and commercialization of a new class of ruthenium catalysts and ROMP chemistry invented by Prof. Caltech Robert Grubbs, for which Dr. Grubbs received a Noble Chemistry Award in 2005.
“Materia’s flagship polymer family, Proxima ™, leverages ROMP catalyst technology to produce hydrocarbon-based products with significant performance and durability advantages,” said Cliff Post, president and CEO of Materia, “This technology can be used to form composites that exhibit strength and stiffness equivalent to steel, with significantly reduced weight.
With initial support from CalTech and private investor capital, Materia has achieved commercial applications in several sectors, including oil and gas and industrial molding applications. In 2016, Materia received a $ 2 million grant from the Ministry of Energy to explore the feasibility of molding hydrogen tanks from a Proxima / carbon fiber composite.
Since 2017, ExxonMobil and Materia have collaborated to research other uses of Proxima under a joint development agreement, including wind blades and anti-corrosion coatings. The technology could enable the manufacture of longer, more durable wind turbine blades for more efficient renewable energy production. ExxonMobil plans to expand Proxima’s scope of applications, including parts for electric vehicles and sustainable construction projects.
“We are delighted to begin this new chapter with ExxonMobil in our mission to provide next generation materials for a more sustainable world,” said Ray Roberge, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Materia Inc. “This development marks the culmination of decades of basic science research made possible by Caltech and all of Materia’s shareholders, in particular Michael M. Kellen and Andrew S. Gundlach of Bleichroeder LLC, and the families of Dr Alfred J. Bader and Joseph Bernstein. Materia employees are delighted to continue commercializing these important technologies. “
The acquisition includes Materia’s extensive patent and intellectual property portfolio, its corporate headquarters, its research and technology center in Pasadena, California, and its manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Texas. ExxonMobil intends to operate the business under the Materia company name as a wholly owned subsidiary.
Posted on December 7, 2021
Source: Materia inc.