Catalyst Research Could Benefit Base Oils


ExxonMobil Corp. last week announced a five-year technology alliance with Symyx Technologies Inc., aimed at speeding the oil giants search for new catalysts for production of fuels, chemicals and base oils.

The agreement calls for ExxonMobil to use Symyx tools to implement high throughput experimentation – a practice that speeds the process of producing and considering potential catalysts. According to the companies, Symyxs technologies allow researchers to generate hundreds of unique materials concurrently and automatically and rapidly screen those materials for desired properties. This approach delivers results in an order of magnitude faster than traditional research methods at a fraction of the cost.

Like other oil companies, ExxonMobil widely uses catalysts in its production of fuels, chemicals and base oils. A spokesman said the campaign with Symyx, of Santa Clara, Calif., will apply across the companys product range, rather than focusing on any one in particular.

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