~ originally published in the Aug. 25, 2011 issue of the Journal of Business ~
Petroleum Sciences spent a year researching the science and marketability of the product before starting to make and distribute Zycosil to local companies. So far, it has sold only 10 to 12 kilograms of Zycosil, at $38.95 per kilogram, but it believes the long-term sales potential for the product is strong, says Robert Dunning, owner and president of Petroleum Sciences.
Petroleum Sciences is the only Zycosil distributor in the U.S.
Zycosil is a chemical compound that provides long-term protection of masonry, concrete, rock, and other surfaces from potential moisture-caused damage, Dunning says. The sealant, made up of nano-sized particles, can be sprayed, brushed, or rolled onto surfaces. Once applied, it seeps into the pores of the surface and becomes part of it, sealing out harmful elements, he says.
Testing predicts that it could provide protection for up to 20 years, Dunning says. He plans on selling Zycosil primarily to businesses and government entities, but says potential customers includes anyone who is interested in using the product, including homeowners. The benefits for them include preventing damage from ice and mildew on driveways, sidewalks, and patios, potentially bringing down home repair costs, Dunning says.
Petroleum Science believes, based on its market research, that Zycosil is competitive in its market and has the potential to be less expensive than comparable products, he says.
Petroleum Sciences and Zydex formed a business relationship when one of Dunning’s friends in India mentioned Dunning and Petroleum Sciences to the owner and president of Zydex, Dr. Ajay Ranka. Ranka and Dr. Prakash Mehta, the co-inventor of Zycosil, traveled to the U.S. last spring to talk to Dunning about research, marketing, and distribution opportunities for Zycosil in the state.
Petroleum Sciences has had a presence in Spokane since 1976, and is involved in consulting, laboratory services, and marketing of waterproofing products for surface pavement products. It has had contracts in Singapore, Israel, and Brazil, but most of the work it does is for domestic concerns, Dunning says.