PASADENA, Calif. — December 7, 2021 — Materia Inc., a high-performance structural materials company that has pioneered the development of a Nobel Prize-winning technology for making a new class of polymers, today announced that it has been acquired by ExxonMobil Chemical Co., a division of ExxonMobil Corp.
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.
Materia has been working since its formation in 1999 on the development and commercialization of a new class of ruthenium catalysts and ROMP chemistry invented by Caltech Professor Robert Grubbs, for which Dr. Grubbs received a Noble Prize in Chemistry in 2005.
“Materia’s flagship polymer family, Proxima™, draws upon the ROMP catalyst technology to produce hydrocarbon based products with significant performance and sustainability advantages,” said Cliff Post, Materia’s president and CEO, “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 & gas and industrial molding applications. In 2016, Materia received a $2 million grant from the Department of Energy to explore the feasibility of molding hydrogen tanks from a Proxima/carbon fiber composite.
Since 2017, ExxonMobil and Materia have been collaborating to research further uses for Proxima under a joint development agreement, including wind blade and anti-corrosion coatings. The technology could enable the manufacture of longer and more durable wind turbine blades for more efficient renewable energy generation. ExxonMobil anticipates expanding the scope of applications for Proxima, including parts for electric vehicles and sustainable construction projects.
“We are excited to begin this new chapter with ExxonMobil in our mission to deliver next-generation materials for a more sustainable world,” said Ray Roberge, chairman of the board of Materia Inc. “This development marks the culmination of decades of basic science research made possible by Caltech and all of Materia’s shareholders, especially Michael M. Kellen and Andrew S. Gundlach of Bleichroeder LLC, and the Dr. Alfred J. Bader and Joseph Bernstein families. Materia employees are excited to pursue the commercialization of these important technologies.”
The acquisition includes Materia’s extensive portfolio of patents and intellectual property, its headquarters, research and technology center in Pasadena, Calif., and its manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Texas. ExxonMobil intends to operate the business under the Materia company name as a wholly owned subsidiary.
Posted December 7, 2021
Source: Materia Inc.