Albemarle Corporation

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Albemarle Corporation
Traded as NYSEALB
Industry Chemical
Founded 1994
Headquarters Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Area served
Key people
Luther C. "Luke" Kissam
(President) & (CEO)
Products flame retardants chemicals, antioxidants, FCC catalysts, HPC catalysts, pharmaceutical products
Revenue Increase $ 2.869 billion (FY 2011)[1]
Increase $ 587.8 million (FY 2011)[1]
Increase $ 464.4 million (FY 2011)[1]
Total assets Increase $ 3.204 billion (FY 2011)[1]
Total equity Increase $ 1.679 billion (FY 2011)[1]
Number of employees
4,260(Dec 2011)[1]
Slogan "We Can Do That"

Albemarle Corporation is a chemical company with corporate headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is a specialty chemical manufacturing enterprise. The company employs approximately 4,000 people and serves customers in approximately 100 countries.[2]


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 tetraethyllead (TEL) had antiknock properties as a gasoline additive. As a result, the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation in Richmond, Virginia began production of tetraethyllead 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 February 1994, Ethyl spun off its chemical businesses to create an independent, publicly traded company named Albemarle Corporation.[3]


Albemarle facility located in Amsterdam.

In July 1994, The Albemarle Corporation expanded itself by acquiring the Asano Corporation,[3] 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.[4] 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.[4] Another joint venture was signed in 2000 by the corporation and Jinhai Chemical and Industry Company, located in China.[5] More chemical plants were opened within the next five years in Port-de-Bouc, France and Bergheim, Germany (after the acquisition of Martinswerk GmbH).[6]

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.[6]

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.[5]

Manufactured Products[edit]

The element Bromine

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.

Albemarle Corporation became a global leader in the flame-retardant chemicals technologies, with production plants all across the globe in the United States, China, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Austria, and the United Kingdom. The corporation also has a line of antioxidants and blends which concentrate on improving storage life and stability of fuel and other lubricant products. The acquisition of the phosphorus-based chemistry of Rhodia S.A. included products used in rigid and flexible polyurethane foam applications and ammonium polyphosphate products. Later on, the acquisition of Martinswerk GmbH added pigments for paper applications, aluminum oxides used for flame-retardant, polishing agent, catalyst, and niche ceramic applications, as well as magnesium hydroxide mainly used as a flame-retardant. [6]

Since the acquisition of the Catalysts Division of AkzoNobel in 2004, Albemarle Corporation is one of the world's largest producers of hydro processing catalysts (HPC) and fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts used in the petroleum refining industry.[7] Production locations (excluding joint ventures in Brasil and Japan) are: Bayport, Texas and Amsterdam, Netherlands.[citation needed]


Albemarle's new businesses focus on the manufacture of custom and proprietary fine chemicals and chemical services for the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. Albemarle is one of the largest global producers of ibuprofen.[1] With the Alternative Fuel Technologies division, Albemarle strives to establish itself as a major player in the fast-growing market of biofuels, GTL, CTL. It recently (2008) announced the acquisition of Sorbent Technologies Corporation,[8] whose proprietary technology controls mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. Albermarle was one of the three different chemical companies that backed the Citizens for Fire Safety industry group that influenced fire-safety policy by lobbying for flame retardant use in consumer products like furniture and baby products.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Albemarle, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Feb 22, 2012". Retrieved Jan 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Albemarle, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Nov 15, 2012". Retrieved Jan 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Albemarle, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Mar 27, 1997". Retrieved Jan 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Albemarle, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Mar 11, 1999". Retrieved Jan 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Albemarle, Form 10-K405, Filing Date Feb 28, 2001". Retrieved Jan 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "Albemarle, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Mar 14, 2005". Retrieved Jan 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Albemarle, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Aug 2, 2004". Retrieved Jan 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Albemarle, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Nov 7, 2008". Retrieved Jan 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ Citizens for Fire Safety" Smoked Out: Front Group Folds After Exposé, Center for Media and Democracy, retrieved 10 September 2010 

External links[edit]