Celanese Corporation, also known as Hoechst Celanese, is a Fortune 500 global technology and specialty materials company with its headquarters in Irving, Texas, United States. The company is a leading producer of acetyl products, which are intermediate chemicals for nearly all major industries, and is the world's largest producer of vinyl acetate monomer (VAM).
Celanese's operations are primarily located in North America, Europe, and Asia. Its largest plant is in the Clear Lake area of Pasadena, Texas, United States the home to the world's largest acetic acid plant. In 2016, Celanese reported net sales of $5.4 billion.
In 1918, the American Cellulose & Chemical Manufacturing Company was founded in New York City by Camille Dreyfus.
The American Cellulose and Chemical Manufacturing Co. Ltd plant in Cumberland, Maryland was set up during World War I to produce cheaper fabric for airplane manufacturing. The plant location was chosen inland to protect against Zeppelin attacks. It was also situated in proximity to a ready source of water at the Potomac River and easy access to coal supplies and railroad lines. After a series of delays, actual production began in 1924 with a series of cellulose acetate commercial fabrics and yarns intended as alternatives to silk. The plant was closed in 1983, and was later torn down to provide a space for a new state prison.
In 1927, the American Cellulose & Chemical Manufacturing Company changed its name to Celanese Corporation of America. In 1986, its pharmaceutical business was spun off as Celgene, and, in 1987, Celanese Corporation was acquired by Hoechst and merged with its American subsidiary, American Hoechst, to form Hoechst Celanese Corporation.
In 1998, Hoechst combined most of its industrial chemical operations in a new company, Celanese AG, and, in 1999, Hoechst spun off Celanese AG as a publicly traded, German corporation, traded on both the Frankfurt and New York stock exchanges.
On 16 December 2003, the U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group announced a takeover offer for Celanese, after two years of wooing management. Shareholders formally approved the offer from Blackstone on 16 June 2004, and Blackstone completed the acquisition of Celanese AG. The company was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, and Blackstone changed the entity's name to Celanese Corporation. Under Blackstone, a number of streamlining initiatives were undertaken, and several acquisitions were made.
On 21 January 2005, Celanese Corporation conducted an initial public offering and became a publicly traded corporation traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CE". When Blackstone sold the last of its shares in 2007, it had made five times what it had invested and it, and its co-investors collected a $2.9 billion profit.
Celanese has a process to make ethanol from natural gas.
In 1995 Hoechst Celanese was named along with Shell Oil as a defendant in a class action lawsuit for $7 billion in both past and potential future damages for which they were accused of being liable because of leaks in their polybutylene plumbing systems.
In January 2014 a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of the residents of the community of Cannon's Campground and other residents of the area surrounding a former Hoechst Celanese industrial site in South Carolina. The lawsuit alleged the dumping of a number of toxic chemicals into local waters, which has diminished property values and caused a number of illnesses. Hoechst Celanese asked the courts to dismiss these charges as spurious, claiming that its discharges have not caused substantial harm to anyone or to the environment, and further asserting that a 3-year limit on tort claims has expired, relieving the company of any responsibility for damages which might be eventually discovered.
Acetyl intermediates is Celanese's largest segment, with a product range consisting of basic chemicals such as acetic acid, acetic anhydride, and vinyl acetate. Customers of Acetyl Intermediates and Industrial Specialties are in the chemical, paint and coatings, construction, and adhesive industries for polymerization.
Advanced engineered materials offers plastic polymers to customers in the automotive, electronics, telecommunications, and medical industries. Major products include: engineered plastics for fuel system components (provided by Ticona, the engineering polymer business of Celanese), conveyor belts, electronics, safety systems, emissions filtration, and fluid handling.
The food ingredients business Nutrinova produces the high intensity sweetener Sunett (acesulfame K), the preservatives Nutrinova potassium sorbate and sorbic acid, and other food ingredients. Major end-use markets include beverages, confections, baked goods, and dairy products.
Celanese is one of the world's largest producers of cellulose acetate. Acetate products are primarily used in cigarette filters, as well as in the production of fashion apparel and linings.
Industrial specialties using the feedstock from acetyl intermediates manufactures polymer and emulsions, such as polyvinyl acetate emulsions, and specialty chemicals as ethylene vinyl acetate. Major end-use markets include polyvinyl alcohol producers, paper, mortar and gypsum, textiles, paints, coatings, adhesives manufacturers.
TCX Technology is a hydrocarbon-based ethanol production process developed and marketed by Celanese and Launched in November 2010. Celanese researchers developed the TCX Technology to create a fuel that helps countries reduce their need to import oil and gas. Celanese plans to invest $700 million to build one-to-two plants in China and one in Texas that will produce TCX-based ethanol.