Solvents History

SweenyPhillips 66’s history dates back to 1875 and enjoys a rich and complex history through its many predecessor companies, most notably Conoco and Phillips Petroleum Company. In May 2012, Phillips 66 debuted as an independent downstream energy company with refining, marketing, midstream and chemicals businesses operating across the globe.

Specialty Solvents has a long history with the Company. In the late 1930s to the early 1940s, Phillips Petroleum’s Specialty Solvents played a vital role in the war effort. To overcome a limited variety of crude oil supplies, Isopentane was developed as a separate ingredient for aviation gasoline. Cyclohexane was used in the production of parachutes and other nylon products like pantyhose and toothbrush bristles. Because of its octane rating, Normal Hexane could not be used in aviation gasoline. However, it was ideal for the extraction of oils, manufacturing plastics, and for paints and varnishes. Heptane was used in the manufacturing of adhesives and in the rubber industry.

Over the years, other products were introduced into industries far removed from the gasoline business. So in 1948, Phillips Petroleum created Specialty Chemicals. Specialty Chemicals operated this way until November 1996, when Specialty Chemicals (now Chevron Phillips Chemical Company) and Specialty Solvents (now Phillips 66 Specialty Solvents) were separated.