History of Afton Chemical 

Beginning as a paper company during the height of the Industrial Revolution, our path to the 21st Century has been a fascinating one.

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BeginningsThe Early YearsThe Growth YearsToday

Beginnings (1887-1941)

1887 – Albemarle Paper Manufacturing Company founded

Five Richmond, Virginia businessmen begin a new venture to manufacture Kraft and blotting paper.

1921 – General Motors Chemical Corporation founded in Ohio

Charles Kettering forms a new company, which adds chemicals to gasoline to reduce engine "knock."

1924 – Ethyl Gasoline Corporation

As Kettering's company grows, its name is changed to Ethyl Gasoline Corporation.

1941 – Floyd D. Gottwald becomes Albemarle President

With the decline in paper industry profits, Gottwald sees a future in polyethylene film, and looks to acquire a chemical company.

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The Early Years (1962-1991)

1962 – A surprising acquisition, a change in direction

In the largest leveraged buy-out in U.S. History, Albemarle Paper Co. acquires Ethyl Gasoline Corporation and adopts the Ethyl Corporation name.

1975 – Edwin Cooper, Inc. is acquired

Ethyl Corporation expands further into chemicals by acquiring a global manufacturer of lubricant additives.

1984 – Companies and brands are consolidated

The Edwin Cooper, Inc. brand retires and becomes Ethyl Petroleum Additives, Inc.

1991 – Ethyl announces a new President

Thomas (Teddy) Gottwald, the grandson of founder Floyd D. Gottwald, Sr., becomes President of Ethyl Petroleum Additives, Inc.

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The Growth Years (1992-2008)

1992 – Major acquisitions bolster Ethyl's additives strengths

Ethyl acquires Amoco Petroleum Additives in the U.S. and Nippon Cooper in Japan, as global consolidation comes to the petroleum industry.

1996 – Further expansion strengthens Ethyl's global presence

With the acquisition of the Texaco Additives Company, Ethyl broadens product lines and enhances research capabilities.

2004 – The birth of Afton Chemical Corporation

Ethyl Petroleum Additives, Inc. changes its name to Afton Chemical Corporation. Afton begins operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of NewMarket Corporation.

2004 – A new president assumes Afton Chemical Corporation leadership role

Warren Huang becomes President of Afton Chemical Corporation.

2008 – Another milestone acquisition

Afton Chemical acquires the North American fuel additives business of GE Water and Processing Technologies.

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Today (2009-Today)

2009 – Strategic investments in Asia-Pacific

Afton Chemical expands investment in the Asia-Pacific region with facilities in Shanghai, China, Tsukuba, Japan and Jurong Island, Singapore.

2010 – Polartech

Afton acquires Polartech, expanding their product offering for metalworking fluid additives and adding R&D and manufacturing facilities in the UK, and manufacturing sites in India, China and the U.S.

2012 – Afton Chemical announces a new president

Robert Shama becomes president of Afton Chemical Corporation.

2017 – Afton Chemical Acquires Aditivos Mexicanos, S.A. De C.V.

Afton Chemical acquires Aditivos Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V. (AMSA), a petroleum additives manufacturing, sales and distribution company based in Mexico City, Mexico.

2018 – Afton Chemical announces a new president

Gina Harm becomes president of Afton Chemical Corporation.

2023 – Afton Chemical announces a new president

Brian Paliotti becomes president of Afton Chemical Corporation.

Today – Always looking to the future

Afton Chemical is committed to innovative technology and world-class research. We'll continue to offer customers new and improved technologies, superior and cost-effective product performance, and leading edge technical support - all driven by our Passion for Solutions®.

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