Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Shell Chemical Co

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May 1961.
Sept 1963.
Sept 1963.

Shell Chemical Co, of St. Helen's Court, Great St. Helen's, London, EC3. Telephone: Avenue 4321. Cables: "Shell, London". (1947)

Part of the Royal Dutch Shell Group

1929 Shell first entered the chemicals industry via a partnership in the Netherlands called NV Mekog, which manufactured ammonia from coke-oven gas. In the United States, the Shell Chemical Company was founded in the same year.

1931 Shell Chemical Co (in USA) began the world's first production of ammonia from natural gas in California. It also started production of chemical solvents from refinery gases in California during the early 1930s

1941 production of Teepol liquid detergent began at Stanlow in Cheshire, the first manufacture of a petroleum-based organic chemical in Europe. In the decades that followed, Shell Chemicals companies have played a major part in the growth of the petrochemicals sector and developed some of its key manufacturing processes.

1942 Shell Chemical Co pioneered the production of butadiene, a key raw material for synthetic rubbers.

1944 In the USA Shell Chemical Co was merged into Shell Union, becoming a division of that company[1].

1947 British Industries Fair Advert for Chemicals derived from Petroleum for Industrial and Agricultural use. Manufacturers of Range of Chemicals and Special Products Derived from Petroleum including Solvents, Detergents and Wetting Agents, Naphthenic Acids, Plasticisers, Insecticides, Agricultural and Horticultural Products, Fly Sprays. (Chemicals Section - Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. A.1028) [2]

1955 All Shell's chemical manufacturing and marketing activities in UK and Eire were concentrated in a new company to be called Shell Chemical Co[3].

1955 Shell Chemical and Fisons entered long term agreement to make fertilisers using ammonia that Shell would make at Shell Haven from refinery gases[4].

1960s-70s Shell Chemicals employed a number of distinguished scientists including Lord Rothschild and Professor Sir John Cornforth in research. Among many inventions and discoveries in its laboratories were epoxy resins, insecticides including Vapona fly spray, herbicides and liquid detergents.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 4 July 1944
  2. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 196; and p248
  3. The Times, 27 July 1955
  4. The Times, 3 November 1955
  • Shell website [1]