ExxonMobil Acquires High-Performance Structural Polymers Company

ExxonMobil Chemical Company (Houston, Texas, USA), a division of ExxonMobil, has acquired Materia, Inc. (Pasadena, California, USA), a high-performance structural materials company that has pioneered the development of a Nobel prize-winning technology for manufacturing a new class of polymers. The innovative materials can be used in a number of applications, including wind turbine blades, electric vehicle parts, sustainable construction, and anticorrosive coatings.

This acquisition couples Materia’s Nobel Prize-winning technology with ExxonMobil’s complimentary proprietary processes and world-class manufacturing capabilities to bring these new sustainable structural polymers to greater commercial scale.

ExxonMobil and Materia have been collaborating since 2017 on the development of new hydrocarbon-based materials that are stronger, lighter, and more durable than existing thermoset products such as epoxy. In addition, these benefits could enable the design of longer, more durable wind turbine blades for more efficient renewable electricity production. Due to their strength, the materials could also be used as a lightweight, corrosion resistant replacement for steel in certain construction applications.

“We are reimagining how new hydrocarbon-based materials can form the building blocks to help multiple industries achieve a more sustainable future,” says Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “This acquisition ties together Materia’s Nobel Prize-winning technology with ExxonMobil’s complementary proprietary technology and world-class manufacturing capabilities to bring this exciting new class of structural materials to commercial scale.”

Since its formation in 1999, Material has been working on the development and commercialization of a new class of ruthenium catalysts and ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) chemistry invented by Caltech professor Robert Grubbs and his research team at the California Institute of Technology. A co-founder of Materia, Dr. Grubbs received the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for these discoveries.

“The combination of Materia’s innovative culture, dedicated employees and cutting-edge technology with ExxonMobil’s expertise and scale in bringing new technology to market will open up an exciting new chapter for Materia,” says Grubbs. “ExxonMobil’s acquisition significantly expands the growth opportunities for this unique technology.”

The acquisition includes Materia’s headquarters and technology center in Pasadena and its manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Texas, USA. ExxonMobil intends to operate the business under the Materia company name as a wholly owned affiliate.

Source: ExxonMobil, https://corporate.exxonmobil.com.