By Gregorio Millán Barbany
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Thus terpenes (a-pinene, b-pinene) can be produced from natural turpentine, as is traditionally done by rosin producers such as Hercules, Glidden, or Union Camp in the United States, or on a smaller scale in France by Socie´te´ des De´rive´s Re´siniques et Terpe´niques, DRT. BASF and Hoffmann-La Roche, however, have demonstrated that starting from acetylene or isobutylene, terpene chemicals can be synthetically reproduced. Both companies are able to produce both their vitamins and perfume bases in this way.
In 1986, BP bought Chevron’s 50% share in Orobis, and more recently Rhoˆne-Poulenc sold to Chevron its 50% share in Orogil. The interest shown by Ethyl Corporation in Edwin Cooper stems from its desire to diversify into the oil sector as unleaded gasoline begins to threaten the future of tetraethyl 24 lead. But in a business in which it is a newcomer, Ethyl still has much to learn before attaining the efficiency and international coverage of its three main rivals. The same is true of Amoco and of Texaco Chemicals, although they are endowed with a significant captive market through their parent companies, Standard Oil of Indiana and the group made up of Texaco, Caltex, and Getty Oil, respectively.
Before becoming the object of a leveraged management buyout in 1989. In Europe, Rhoˆne-Poulenc and ICI merged their rubber divisions within a subsidiary called Vulnax and then finally sold it to AKZO in 1987. Atochem, meanwhile, was taking a minority stake in Manufacture Landaise de Produits Chimiques, henceforward leaving France and Britain with no significant producer with international clout. In this changed environment, three major additives manufacturers emerged: Monsanto with its plants in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Belgium; Bayer, which owns two sites in Europe and produces antiozonants in Pittsburgh through Mobay; and UniRoyal Chemical, which has production units in Naugatuck, Connecticut, and Geismar, Louisiana, as well as in Canada, Brazil, and Italy.