Materia and QAPCO sign MoU to study the development of the next generation of materials by focusing on R&D
20 August 2015
PASADENA, California and DOHA, Qatar - As Qatar continues to grow its energy and industrial sectors, and attempts to further optimize its hydrocarbon resources utilization, research and innovation are set to propel the future success of these sectors. Research might allow the development of new products using Qatar’s existing feedstock and natural resources and opens the door to new uses for energy products and derivatives such as petrochemicals.
To further this goal, Materia, Inc. (Materia) and Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO) have forged a partnership, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to further reinforce their collaborative R&D efforts, and to study the development of the next generation of materials produced from Qatar’s existing feedstocks. Materia’s expertise and breakthrough catalyst technology combined with QAPCO resources could potentially lead to the development of new products. Indeed, Materia specializes in efficient feedstock utilization and the extraction of specific petrochemical and chemical compounds thanks to its unique and innovative technology. Together, they will explore the possibilities to further optimize the use of Qatar’s natural resources, by studying how to extract new products from QAPCO’s current feedstock, with the aim to maximize the value related to QAPCO’s existing processes.
Sustainability oriented research is part of QAPCO’s commitment to improve both the impact of its processes, by focusing on the optimum use of feedstock, and of its products, by generating new applications. Through collaboration with local and international partnerships, QAPCO’s R&D team is digging deep into the potential applications for its petrochemical products now and into the future.
Dr. Mohammed Yousef Al Mulla, Vice Chairman and CEO of QAPCO stated: “Joint industry-academia R&D, such as our collaboration with Materia and Texas A&M at Qatar, is very promising and paves the way to infinite possibilities while supporting the growth of Qatar’s knowledge-based economy. Collaborating with some of the world’s leading experts on research projects focusing on olefins, polymers and petrochemicals has the potential to add further value to our feedstock, which could be strongly beneficial for QAPCO and ultimately for the hydrocarbon resources of the State.”
Dr. Michael A. Giardello, Materia’s President, CEO & CTO stated: “This envisioned collaboration should enable QAPCO to extract greater value from some of its by-product streams, therefore unlocking greater value from Qatar’s natural resources thanks to Materia’s unique and advanced technologies.”
QAPCO uses focused partnerships with Qatar’s most prominent universities such as Texas A&M University at Qatar, as the launching point for its research activities. Most recently, QAPCO supported the establishment of an endowed chair position at Texas A&M at Qatar for Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. Nobel Prize winning chemist Professor Robert H. Grubbs, Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, helped found Materia in 1998. “It is exciting to be part of a collaboration involving Materia, QAPCO, and Texas A&M at Qatar to develop the next generation of materials and products from Qatar-based feedstocks. This program will allow fundamental discoveries to be rapidly converted into new commercial products,” stated Professor Grubbs.
Materia was founded in 1998 to commercialize the Grubbs Catalyst™ technology, which enables chemical compounds to be synthesized with greater efficiency, under less stringent reaction conditions, and with reduced by-products and hazardous waste. Metathesis has been accepted as an emerging chemical technology platform and has been broadly adopted by the pharmaceutical, chemical, and polymer industries. As stated by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences when awarding the 2005 Nobel Prize, “metathesis is an example of how important basic science has been applied for the benefit of man, society, and the environment.” For more information, visit: www.materia-inc.com.
QAPCO was established in 1974 and is a joint venture between Industries Qatar (80%) and Total Petrochemicals (20%). QAPCO is one of the largest producers of low density polyethylene (LDPE) in the region. LDPE is considered as the most widely used form of plastic, providing innovative and practical applications such as food packaging, cables, agricultural films or toys and playing a key role in the development of green building solutions. LDPE enriches the daily lives of million of people around the planet. QAPCO is involved in a number of joint ventures that include QATOFIN, QVC, and QPPC, thereby producing various petrochemical products, making QAPCO a regional petrochemical powerhouse. For more information, visit: http://www.qapco.com.qa
About Texas A&M University at Qatar
Texas A&M University, recognized as having one of the premier engineering programs in the world, has offered undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering and petroleum engineering at Qatar Foundation’s Education City campus since 2003, and graduate courses in chemical engineering since fall 2011. More than 500 engineers have graduated from Texas A&M at Qatar since 2007. In addition to engineering courses, Texas A&M at Qatar provides classes in science, mathematics, liberal arts and the humanities. All four of the engineering programs offered at Texas A&M at Qatar are accredited by ABET. The curricula offered at Texas A&M at Qatar are materially identical to those offered at the main campus in College Station, Texas, and courses are taught in English in a co-educational setting. The reputation for excellence is the same, as is the commitment to equip engineers to lead the next generation of engineering advancement. Faculty from around the world are attracted to Texas A&M at Qatar to provide this educational experience and to participate in research activities now valued at more than $159 million, and that address issues important to the State of Qatar. Visit www.qatar.tamu.edu.
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