ExxonMobil Acquires Materia Inc. – New Way For Making Wind Turbine Blades Stronger and Sustainable

ExxonMobil Chemical recently made an acquisition of a company whose technical advancement in polymers may result in making wind turbine blades stronger, last longer, and offer more sustainable practices.

ExxonMobil acquires Materia, Inc., a high-performance structural polymers company

ExxonMobil Chemical Company has purchased Materia, Inc., a California-based technology company that pioneered the creation of a Nobel Prize-winning method for creating a new class of materials. Wind turbine blades, electric car parts, sustainable building, and anti-corrosive coatings are among the uses for novel materials.

Materia was formed in 1999 to market a collection of ruthenium catalyst technology discovered by Nobel Laureate Dr. Robert Grubbs and his Caltech research group. Materia claims this technology offers a lower carbon footprint with cradle-to-gate emissions 47% lower than standard epoxy resins.

Nobel Prize-winning technology for Making Wind Turbine Blades

Making Wind Turbine Blades
Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay

This is a new family of hydrocarbon-based materials with improved performance and sustainability. These materials might allow for more robust and efficient wind turbine blades during the energy transition.

ExxonMobil and Materia have been working together on the development of novel hydrocarbon-based materials that are stronger, lighter, and more durable than traditional thermoset products like epoxy since 2017. These advantages might enable making wind turbine blades more robust for more efficient renewable electricity generation in the wind power sector. Because of their strength, the materials might potentially be employed in some building applications as a lightweight, corrosion-resistant substitute for steel.

“We are reimagining how new hydrocarbon-based materials can form the building blocks to help multiple industries achieve a more sustainable future,” said 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.”

The materials make use of innovative catalyst discoveries developed by California Institute of Technology professor Dr. Robert Grubbs and his research team. Grubbs was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005 for his findings.

“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,” said Professor Robert Grubbs, Nobel Laureate and co-founder of Materia. “ExxonMobil’s acquisition significantly expands the growth opportunities for this unique technology.”

Materia’s headquarters and technology center in Pasadena, California, as well as its production site in Huntsville, Texas, are included in the transaction. ExxonMobil aims to manage the firm as a wholly-owned subsidiary under the Materia brand.

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