This research and development complex was established by the founders of Universal Oil Products (later named UOP) to develop key products for the oil-refining industry. The processes created here profoundly affected the refining, treatment and conversion of crude oil and the development of the petroleum and petrochemical industries. Conceived as a combination of quiet academic retreat and industrial plant, Riverside attracted many of the world's leading petroleum scientists and a dedicated support team. Between 1921 and 1955, Riverside research resulted in 8,790 U.S. and foreign patents.
The Ljungstrom air preheater is a regenerative heat exchanger, invented in the 1920s and soon used throughout the world. Dr. Fredrik Ljungstrom, then technical director at Aktiebolaget Ljunstrom Angturbin, invented it for preheating combustion air in boiler plants, but the use has expanded to include energy recovery in combination with the removal of oxides of sulfur and nitrogen.