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Albemarle Corporation

Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) is chemical company with corporate headquarters in Richmond, Virginia and operation headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is a globally recognized specialty chemical manufacturing enterprise.


The Albemarle Paper Manufacturing Company opened in 1887 with the production of kraft paper, also known as Kraft, and blotting paper.

In 1921, a team of chemists performing research for General Motors discovered tetraethyl lead (TEL) had antiknock properties as a gasoline additive. As a result, the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana began production of tetraethyl lead in 1937. TEL remained the primary product of the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation through the next four decades. When the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation expanded its product line (particularly to include MMT), its name was changed to the Ethyl Corporation.

The Albemarle Paper Manufacturing Company borrowed $200 million in 1962 and purchased Ethyl Corporation, a company more than thirteen times its size.

Throughout the next few decades, The Ethyl Corporation, under the direction of the Albemarle Paper Manufacturing Company, further expanded their product line to include bromine (in 1969 in Magnolia, Arkansas), lubricant additives (in 1975), and aluminum alkyls (in 1976 in Feluy, Belgium). Further expansion of The Ethyl Corporation included the purchases of Dow Chemical's bromine division, Russ Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Potasse et Produits Chimiques (PPC).

In 1994, Ethyl spun off its chemical businesses to create an independent, publicly traded company named Albemarle Corporation.


The Albemarle Corporation expanded itself by acquiring the Asano Corporation, a sales and marketing company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The corporation sold both its electronic materials business and its alpha olefins, polyalphaolefins and synthetic alcohols businesses by 1996, and in 1997 formed an alliance with Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals, Inc. That same year, the corporation was restructured to form two global business units: Polymer Chemicals and Fine Chemicals.

In 1998, the Albemarle Corporation bought a custom manufacturing and oilfield chemicals plant in Teesport, England. In the same year, a joint venture was signed between Jordan Dead Sea Industries Company, Arab Potash Company, and one of Albemarle Corporation's subsidiaries. Another joint venture was signed in 2000 by the corporation and Jinhai Chemical and Industry Company, located in China. More chemical plants were opened within the next five years in Port-de-Bouc, France and Bergheim, Germany (after the acquisition of Martinswerk GmbH).

Since 2000, Albemarle Corporation has acquired assets of Ferro Corporation's PYRO-CHEK® flame retardant business; Martinswerk GmbH; the custom and fine chemicals businesses of ChemFirst Inc.; the Ethyl Corporation's fuel and lubricant antioxidants business; the phosphorus-based polyurethane flame retardants businesses of Rhodia; Atofina S.A.'s (Paris) bromine fine chemicals business; Taerim International Corporation, and the refinery catalyst business of Akzo Nobel N.V.

Also in 2000, Albemarle Corporation, Cytec Industries Inc., and GE Specialty Chemicals, Inc., a subsidiary of General Electric Company, announced their intention to form a new business-to-business internet joint venture, The creation of this venture was intended to help provide materials faster and more efficiently directly from trusted suppliers.

Manufactured Products

Since the acquisition of the Akzo Nobel N.V., Albemarle Corporation has been one of the world's largest producers of hydro processing catalysts (HPC) and fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts used in the petroleum refining industry.


Though beginning as a blotting paper manufacturer, The Ethyl Corporation finally abandoned paper manufacturing when it sold Oxford Paper in 1976. Since the late 1990s, Albemarle Corporation has successfully manufactured bromine in countries such as Jordan and France.

Today, Albemarle Corporation produces many flame-retardant chemicals in the United States, China, France, and Korea. The corporation also has lines of amines and quats products; a polymer chemicals business with non-halogen, mineral-based flame retardants for the plastics and rubber markets; and a line of antioxidants and blends which concentrate on improving storage life and stability of fuel and other lubricant products. The acquisition of Martinswerk GmbH added pigments for paper applications, and aluminum oxides used for polishing, catalyst, and niche ceramic applications. The acquisition of Rhodia included products used in rigid and flexible polyurethane foam applications and ammonium polyphosphate products.

Albemarle's new businesses focus on the manufacture of custom and proprietary fine chemicals and chemical services for the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Albemarle_Corporation". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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