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QAPCO, Materia Sign R and D MoU

Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO) and technology company Materia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further reinforce their collaborative R and D efforts, and to study the development of the next generation of materials produced from Qatar’s existing feedstocks as the country continues to grow its energy and industrial sectors, and attempts to further optimize its hydrocarbon resources utilization.

Qatar Petrochemical Company ''QAPCO''

Qatar Petrochemical Company ”QAPCO”

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, QAPCO said in a press release issued Wednesday.

Materia’s expertise and breakthrough catalyst technology combined with QAPCO resources could potentially lead to the development of new products. The company specializes in efficient feedstock utilization and the extraction of specific petrochemical and chemical compounds thanks to its unique and innovative technology. Together, QAPCO and Materia 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 its 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 and D team is digging deep into the potential applications for its petrochemical products now and into the future.

“Joint industry-academia R and D, such as our collaboration with Materia and Texas A and 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,” said QAPCO Vice Chairman and CEO Dr. Mohammed Yousef Al Mulla.

In turn, Dr. Michael A. Giardello, Materia’s president, CEO and chief technology officer said: “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 and 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 and M at Qatar for polymer science and polymer engineering.

Professor Robert H. Grubbs, Nobel laureate chemist and 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 and 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,” said 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.

When awarding the 2005 Nobel Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said “metathesis is an example of how important basic science has been applied for the benefit of man, society, and the environment.” Established in 1974, QAPCO is a joint venture that is 80-percent-owned by Industries Qatar with Total Petrochemicals in control of the remaining 20 percent. QAPCO is one of the region’s largest producers of low density polyethylene (LDPE), the most widely used form of plastic. It’s involved in a number of joint ventures that include QATOFIN, QVC, and QPPC, thereby producing various petrochemical products.

Texas A and M University has been offering 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 since 2007.

Source : Qatar News Agency

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