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The missing ingredient to overcoming years of technological catalytic barriers!


Sawyer Technical Materials, LLC has recently adapted our hydrothermal crystal growth technology to the synthesis of a variety of materials used in catalysis. This technology can be uniquely applied to the production of materials enabling the targeted control of the type, location, density, and accessibility of catalytic sites within a given material to a degree very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve by other synthesis techniques. These product advancements are all uniquely application-specific and will require a close collaboration with clients.  We have already successfully produced a wide variety of inorganic catalytic materials using this technique. Our recent spectacular successes in commercial development of catalytic materials include:
  • High-purity a -alumina supports with tailored surface area, pore volume and pore size distributions

  • Nanosized zinc oxide powders with controlled morphology and superior defect structure

  • Zeolites L, NaP1, beta, mordenite, ZSM-5, and others

  • High purity a -alumina powders with a broad variety of sizes, morphologies (incl. fibers), and chemical compositions (dopants)

  • a -alumina/ transition aluminas compositesSpecialty aluminas, i.e. a -alumina/boehmite composite powders

  • Wide range of metal oxides and metal aluminates (ZnAl2O4, etc)

We have capabilities to grow single crystals, powders, fibers, monolithic ceramic bodies, and coatings of most of the inorganic materials, primarily oxides. Combinatorial studies under industrial conditions and doping elements into the lattice of a carrier (alumina, silica, etc.) are two specific strengths we strategically utilize for catalytic materials research and development.

Sawyer is validating its new materials technology via commercial, academic and research contacts throughout the catalyst community. By leveraging existing capabilities, development has been done at commercial scale and substantial manufacturing capacity is already in place; thus minimizing scale-up and ramp-up costs as well as issues normally associated with producing new products.

The targeted specific details of the desired catalytic material, including morphology and chemical and physical properties, will need to be communicated to us by our client partners so that we can know what value-added material to synthesize. At this juncture we are attempting to identify synergies between Sawyer Technical Materials and prospective partners to illuminate the opportunity to overcome catalytic material barriers.



Several advantages of Sawyer's hydrothermal materials synthesis technology include:

  • Low synthesis temperatures - under 500°C, often < 200°C
  • Low aggregation and agglomeration levels of powders.
  • Excellent control of crystallite size and morphology
  • Unique defect structure, different than in other high-temperature techniques
  • High purity - hydrothermal growth is a self-purifying process
  • Scale-up issues practically eliminated
  • One-step processing with limited or no required high-temperature annealing and/or milling      


Sawyer recognizes the limitless possibilities that hydrothermal synthesis can deliver for a variety of markets with its ability to dial-in specific materials for configuration. The defining variable in the research process is identifying a capability partner and encouraging them to ask the question, "Can you make this material with these chemical and physical properties, micro structures and morphologies?"

This simple question is the catalyst in overcoming barriers and initiating solutions for a myriad of market applications including (but not limited to):

  • Chemical/Petrochemical

  • Oil Refining

  • Energy

  • Pharmaceutical

  • Cosmetic

Of course, the definition of success is not always that obvious, so Sawyer offers a novel approach to combinatorial studies utilizing industrial conditions.

Custom Synthesis

Our initial goal is to convey to potential client partners Sawyer's expertise and success with our unique capabilities and synthesis process and how we represent an opportunity to pursue the development of products utilizing materials otherwise unknown or unavailable to them. Once we've achieved this, we'll have our prospects provide a group of targets that can be used and tested to efficiently develop crystalline materials. Sawyer can then utilize our hydrothermal synthesis expertise and capabilities in a variety of different combinations to overcome existing barriers and achieve novel materials.

Some key custom synthesis critical property values to consider:

  • Surface Area
  • Porosity
  • Pore Size Distribution
  • Crush Strength
  • Phase Purity
  • Chemical composition (including doping)

Once testing is enacted, our mutual goal is to overcome barriers by identifying where improvement is viable to replace an existing material; or creating a new material entirely within our hydrothermal synthesis processes.

The following catalytic materials have also been synthesized hydrothermally by Sawyer:

  • Oxides
  • Non-oxides
  • Doped compositions
  • Ferrites
  • Solid solutions
  • Metastable compounds
  • Apatites
  • Tungstates
  • Molybdates
  • Vanadates
  • Zeolites

The above examples are by no means an exhaustive list of our capabilities. We invite you to evaluate your past and current materials challenges and identify applications where a better or previously unavailable material could make a significant difference in your business.


Hydrothermal technology offers many advantages over conventional and non-conventional synthesis methods of inorganic materials. Attached is a technical paper on hydrothermal synthesis presented by our  R&D Director – Ceramic Materials; please click to preview the complete study: (Hydrothermal Synthesis Study)

We are ready to discuss the feasibility of providing materials to you consisting of the specific properties you provide. We also realize that exact properties are not always known and that a few to several iterations may be required. We would like to invite you to visit our plant in Cleveland and participate in our technical presentation whenever it is convenient for you.

Data Sheets

a-alumina whiskers View
AA powders View
Coatings View
Corundum all sizes SEM+PSD final View
Nanosized AA powders View
Nanosized powders general View
Zinc aluminate spinel powder View
Zinc oxide nanosized powders View
Technical Papers  
Hydrothermal synthesis of alpha-alumina (a-Al203) & ceramic supports View
Hydrothermal synthesis of materials-review View
Hydrothermal synthesis of alpha alumina (a-Al203) powders –study of the processing variables and growth mechanisms View
Hydrothermally synthesized alpha alumina nano-materials with controlled morphologies and high thermal stability View
Ordered mesoporous carbon/a-alumina nanosheets composites View
Alpha alumina (a-Al2O3) porous supports View
Alpha alumina (a-Al2O3) powders View
  We invite you to evaluate your past and current materials challenges and identify applications where a better or previously unavailable material could make a significant difference in your business.

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