University of Pittsburgh
October 17, 2000


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 16 -- Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) has donated to the University of Pittsburgh a major technology portfolio consisting of more than 50 patents involving process technologies to manufacture N-vinylformamide (NVF) and products derived from NVF. NVF is a unique, low-toxicity monomer for environmentally benign applications in regulatory-compliant products.

Valuation of the technology portfolio depends on many factors, including the timing of introduction into various end market segments and the market share captured. The University has assembled a team to develop a commercialization approach for the portfolio, which will most likely involve partnerships with multiple international companies. If, as is expected, the NVF portfolio can be introduced commercially and is well received, the University has estimated that the portfolio has the potential to generate significant revenues during the first decade of commercialization. It is also expected that the donated patents, which are specifically in the areas of NVF monomer, NVF derivative monomers, and value-added polymers, will benefit the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering by enabling the faculty and students within the department to explore new research possibilities.

"This gift from Air Products provides the University with an unprecedented opportunity to develop new, creative technologies for commercialization, and could produce valuable spin-off ventures for the University," said USX Dean of Engineering Gerald D. Holder. "We are grateful for Air Products and Chemicals' confidence in our research capabilities and are enthusiastic about this wonderful opportunity."

Air Products, which had researched and developed NVF monomer and its manufacturing process, discontinued development of the estate when the company refocused its businesses on core technologies. Soon thereafter, Air Products began searching for a university on which to confer the technology. According to John C. Tao, corporate director, Technology Partnerships at Air Products, the University of Pittsburgh was selected through an intensive competition.

"After careful evaluation of the potential research universities," said Tao, "the University of Pittsburgh was selected based on the strength of its proposal. Of the candidates considered, Pittsburgh had the strongest polymer application background in its chemical engineering department and the best commercialization strategy that would maximize the probability for early successful commercialization of this technology."

The chemical properties and low toxicity of NVF result in high potential for cost-effective applications across a broad range of end-use industrial products. Some of these applications include: specialty papers (such as for ink jet printing), adhesives, industrial coatings, ion exchange resins (for separation-purification purposes), oil field and mining chemicals, textile chemicals, and biomedical products.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania approved $250,000 for the project through the Pennsylvania Technology Infrastructure Authority (PTIA), which provides flexible investment options for fast moving knowledge-based companies, leverages resources for digital community and e-business initiatives, and seeds innovation through university/industry ventures.

"Governor Ridge is continuing his quest to 'Invent the Future in PA' by bringing the technology revolution to all of Pennsylvania," said Community and Economic Development Secretary Samuel A. McCullough. "PTIA is one more tool that the Ridge Administration has created that enables Pennsylvania businesses and communities to thrive in the new economy."

Based in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., is an international supplier of industrial gases and related equipment, and selected chemicals. With corporate headquarters in eastern Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, near Allentown, the company has sales of $5 billion, operations in more than 30 countries, and 17,000 employees around the globe.