SOURCE: Symyx Technologies, Inc.

Symyx Technologies, Inc.

April 15, 2009 08:00 ET

Symyx Awarded Grant From Department of Energy for Solar Thermal Energy Research

R&D Partner to Perform High-Throughput Research for Development of Advanced Heat Transfer Fluids

SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwire - April 15, 2009) - Symyx Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMMX) today announced it has been awarded a grant by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct research and development of advanced heat transfer fluids for solar thermal power generation. Symyx's research will focus on developing new, breakthrough materials for lowering the cost of electricity and providing cleaner energy sources.

"Being recognized with this award validates our ability to utilize microscale, parallel experimentation and scientific informatics to increase the potential for breakthrough discoveries in this critical area of energy research," said Richard Boehner, president, High Productivity Research (HPR) at Symyx. "We're excited to extend our high-throughput experimentation capabilities beyond our environmentally-friendly fuels development with leading automotive and energy companies and into solar thermal energy for green technology power generation."

Today, large solar thermal power facilities are comprised of many miles of fluid-filled pipes arranged in large grids with reflective mirrors used to capture radiation from the sun. Solar radiation heats the fluid which is used to produce steam necessary to power large electricity generation turbines. Currently, organic, oil-based fluid in the pipes has a maximum temperature threshold of 400 degrees Celsius, allowing for the production of electricity at approximately 15 cents per kilowatt hour. By funding Symyx's work, the DOE hopes to foster the development of an advanced heat transfer fluid that can operate within a temperature range from 80 degrees Celsius up to 500 degrees Celsius. The new heat transfer fluid, when used with other advanced technologies, could significantly decrease solar electricity cost to as low as 5 to 7 cents per kilowatt hour. Lower costs would make solar thermal electricity competitive with gas and coal and would offer a clean, renewable source of energy.

Symyx is utilizing proprietary, high productivity research (HPR) tools such as Symyx Powdernium, and its own scientific informatics software including Symyx Automation Studio to screen deep eutectic salt formations, critical to the discovery of materials with low melting points that are able to withstand higher maximum temperatures. Following the screening phase, Symyx will conduct field testing of new material candidates, with the goal of developing a new advanced heat transfer fluid candidate for commercialization in the solar thermal power industry.

While the DOE selected more than a dozen organizations and academic institutions to develop improved methods for thermal energy storage, Symyx was the only company chosen to research advanced heat transfer fluids. Symyx was selected based on the technical merit of its proposed material innovation, as well as its demonstrated experience in high-throughput experimentation in related programs with energy and chemical companies. The competitive grant process that selected Symyx also considered the caliber of the proposed research team members, relevant research infrastructure and overall capabilities.

About Symyx

Symyx Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMMX) enables companies in life sciences, chemicals and energy, and consumer and industrial products to transform scientific R&D and achieve extraordinary breakthroughs in productivity and return on investment. Symyx scientific information management enables scientists to design, execute, analyze, and report experimental results faster, easier, and less expensively. Symyx microscale, parallel experimentation enables a single scientist to rapidly explore a broad experimental space and develop comprehensive data sets in days -- not weeks or months. Symyx contract research delivers these advantages on a project basis and enables companies to increase R&D productivity, agility, and flexibility. Information about Symyx, including reports and other information filed by Symyx with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available at

Contact Information

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    Derek Brookmeyer
    Racepoint Group for Symyx Technologies, Inc.
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