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By Bob Montgomery, Spartanburg Herald Journal
If you've taken vitamins, had decaffeinated coffee or used biodegradable plastic, that product might have been made better with the help of a Spartanburg-made pilot plant. Helping oil, chemical and biofuel companies meet their needs is what Xytel in Roebuck is all about. Xytel makes fully automated pilot plants, or smaller prototypes of full-scale reactors that companies like Exxon, Eastman, Shell and Dow Chemical use in the manufacture or refining of their products. Founded in 1974 in Chicago, the company moved to Spartanburg County in 2003 where land was cheaper and operational costs lower, President and CEO Olivier Clause said. He described Spartanburg as “business-friendly” and “less expensive than Greenville." “Land is more affordable here compared to other areas,” Clause said.