Oxford Catalysts Group is comprised of two operating subsidiaries – Oxford Catalysts Limited and Velocys, Inc. Each specialises in different aspects of the technology. Together, the combined group has a total patent portfolio of over 750 patents and over $250 million has been invested in the technology, primarily by commercial partners.
Oxford Catalysts Ltd, based in Milton Park near Oxford, UK, designs and develops speciality catalyst technologies for the generation of clean fuels from gas, biomass, coal and waste, through steam methane reforming, Fischer-Tropsch and hydroprocessing.
The company focuses on a series of key catalyst platform technologies. Among these is the patented organic matrix combustion (OMX) method. OMX makes it possible to produce catalysts with high activity and selectivity, while being more stable than those produced through conventional processes. Such catalysts are particularly well suited to microchannel reactors, which are able to exploit superactive catalysts most efficiently.
Velocys, Inc. is based near Columbus, Ohio, USA and specialises in the design and development of microchannel reactors for the production of synthetic fuels, chemicals, emulsions and other materials. It owns, or has licences to, the largest microchannel patent portfolio in the world, and supports a large microchannel development team. Velocys merged with Oxford Catalysts in 2008.
The use of microchannel processing will make it possible to greatly intensify chemical reactions to enable them to occur at rates 10 to 1000 times faster than in conventional systems. This means that microchannels are able to be used economically at much smaller scale than analogous conventional systems and so are uniquely suited to the distributed production of fuels and other materials on a small and decentralised scale.