Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What business is Grace in today?
Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts, and engineered materials. The company consists of two industry-leading business segments—Grace Catalysts Technologies and Grace Materials Technologies —that provide innovative products, technologies and services to enhance the quality of life. Grace Catalysts Technologies manufactures catalysts and related products used in refining, petrochemical and other chemical manufacturing applications. Grace Materials Technologies manufactures materials-based specialty products and formulations for diverse applications.
Q: What are catalysts used for?
Grace fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts are used by petroleum refiners to "crack" the hydrocarbon chain in distilled crude oil to produce transportation fuels (such as gasoline and diesel fuels) and other petroleum based products. FCC additives are used to reduce sulfur in gasoline, maximize propylene production from refinery FCC units and reduce emissions of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide from refinery FCC units. Hydroprocessing catalysts are used by petroleum refiners in process reactors to upgrade heavy oils into lighter, more useful products by removing impurities such as nitrogen, sulfur and heavy metals, allowing less expensive feedstocks to be used in the petroleum refining process. Specialty catalysts (including polyolefin catalysts and catalyst supports) are essential components in the manufacture of polyethylene and polypropylene resins, as well as a variety of industrial, environmental and consumer applications.
Q: How are silica and adsorbents products used?
The physical and chemical properties of silica gel (particle size, hardness, porosity and surface chemistry) can be manipulated, making silica gel highly useful in a wide variety of industrial and consumer applications. Silica gels are used to matte coatings, improve ink absorption and print quality for ink jet printing, provide the cleaning characteristics in toothpaste, improve slip (handling) characteristics of plastic films, selectively adsorb contaminants in edible oil and beverage processing, carry flavor and fragrances in personal care products, and aid separations in chemical processes. Our silica gel and molecular sieve adsorbents are used to adsorb moisture in insulated windows and for refrigeration, powder applications, packaging protection, and the purification of gases and liquids in petrochemical and industrial processes.
Q: How are chromatography products used?
Chromatography is commonly used in a wide range of applications, including drug discovery and purification for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, environmental analysis, forensics, petrochemical analysis, food, cosmetics and vitamins. Our chromatography columns, instruments, consumables and accessories are used to separate mixtures of molecules into their various constituents.
Q: Where is Grace headquartered?
Beginning in 1999, Grace moved its headquarters from Boca Raton, Florida to Columbia, Maryland.
Q: How many offices and how many employees does Grace have?
Grace, headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, has approximately 6,500 employees and operates out of 40 facilities. The largest facilities are located in Baltimore, Maryland; Lake Charles, Louisiana; and Worms, Germany. Grace also operates sales offices and warehouses in various regions.
Approximately 710 employees are dedicated to corporate activities and/or are shared through globally managed professional groups such as finance, legal services, human resources, information technology, supply chain and environment, health and safety. In total, Grace employed approximately 5,970 persons as of December 31, 2010, of whom approximately 2,620 were employed in the United States.
Q: How big is Grace today?
Grace has employees in more than 40 countries and annual sales of $3.2 billion in 2014.
Q: What is Grace's growth strategy?
Our strategy is to increase enterprise value by profitably growing our specialty chemicals and specialty materials businesses in the global marketplace and achieving high levels of efficiency. To achieve these objectives, we plan to:
- Invest in research and development activities, with the goal of introducing new high-performance, technically differentiated products and services while continuing to enhance manufacturing processes and operations;
- Expand sales and manufacturing into emerging economies, including China, India, other economies in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America;
- Pursue selected acquisitions and alliances that complement our current product offerings or provide opportunities for faster penetration of desirable market or geographic segments;
- Continue our commitment to process and productivity improvements and cost-management, such as rigorous controls on working capital and capital spending, integration of functional support services worldwide, and programs for supply chain management, which include both procurement, materials management and logistics.
Q: Does Grace use Six Sigma® productivity programs?
As part of our effort to improve our processes, increase productivity and manage costs, commencing in 1999, we have implemented Six Sigma® and other productivity improvement programs. Six Sigma® is a structured, statistics-based process designed to improve our inventory management, customer delivery, plant utilization, administrative efficiency and, ultimately, cost structure. We seek to make Six Sigma® a fundamental business process by training and engaging all of our employees.
Q: What is Grace doing about its environmental record?
Grace's first priority is to ensure the safety of everyone who works for us and everyone who comes in contact with our products. We continuously seek to improve our environmental, health and safety performance. To the extent applicable, we extend the basic elements of the American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care® program to all our locations worldwide, embracing specific performance objectives in the key areas of management systems, product stewardship, employee health and safety, community awareness and emergency response, distribution, process safety and pollution prevention. In addition, we have implemented key elements of the new Responsible Care® Security Code for our operations and systems.