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How ExxonMobil is stepping up medical product manufacture

The oil industry may be facing tough times at the moment, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing a drop in both price and demand, but oil companies like the Exxon Mobil Corporation are boosting production in other ways.

ExxonMobil Chemical has in fact a long history of suppling the medical and healthcare industries with specially developed products. The company provide various substances and materials that offer the properties specifically required for pharmaceutical and medical applications. The benefit for the customer is that they can depend upon a consistent supply of high-quality materials, and this in turn can help to advance medical, pharmaceutical and healthcare technology.

On April 15, the Exxon Mobil Corporation announced that it is boosting production of certain materials that are used in the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This includes the raw materials used to make products including hand sanitizer, as well as face masks and gowns used by frontline medical staff.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to shortages of PPE both in the UK and overseas, so Mobil Exxon have increased their capacity for producing the specialised polypropylene. The corporation should be able to supply around 1,000 additional tons per month, which is sufficient to make up to 20 million medical gowns or 200 million face masks.

Mobil Exxon have also ramped up production of isopropyl alcohol – otherwise known as rubbing alcohol – by 3,000 tons. This provides enough material to produce up to 50 million bottles of hand sanitiser suitable for use in medical applications.

The company’s Baton Rouge site in Louisiana will be used for additional rubbing alcohol production, while the extra production of polypropylene will come from plants in Singapore as well as Baytown, Texas and Baton Rouge.

Mobil Exxon already has an established business in supplying materials for medical applications. Products featuring its materials include medical grade packaging that made from top quality polypropylene (PPE) resins. These are made specifically for the medical and healthcare markets, using best manufacturing practices to ensure the avoidance of product contamination. Such products also comply fully with relevant regulatory requirements. Examples include materials used for chemical, heat, and radiation sterilisation.

Medical products such as seals, syringe tips, gaskets, peristaltic tubes and grips are key examples of other ExxonMobil medical products. These offer an outstanding performance, being capable of long-term durable sealing, even in the harshest environments. The design is flexible and the finished pieces boast excellent physical properties, while sustainable production is enhanced by the recycling of scrap, less heat use during production and the fact that there is no need for adhesive application or spray coatings.

Over 90% of the antibiotic, biomedical and infusion stoppers made in Europe, Asia and the US use halobutyl rubber, and Exxon Mobil’s version features high chemical resistance and cleanliness, plus low permeability to gases, air and moisture. The company also specialises in Exxpro speciality elastomer stoppers, which are suited to various pharmaceutical applications.

The corporation’s Medical non-woven range, meanwhile, combines a high performance with improved fit and comfort across a range of products, including shoe covers, disposable clothing and bedding plus pads, sponges and wraps, as well as surgical gowns and face masks.

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