BATON ROUGE, La., Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) recently celebrated the grand opening of a new laboratory facility and expanded applications capabilities at its Process Development Center (PDC) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The new facility consists of a 5,400 square foot state-of-the-art laboratory complex designed to support R&D efforts for Albemarle's rapidly growing polyolefin catalyst portfolio. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111129/MM14279LOGO ) "Due to the increased demand for our catalyst technologies, we have invested in expansions and enhanced capabilities at our world scale R&D facilities in Baton Rouge," said Peggy Matherne, Global R&D Director for Albemarle's Catalyst global business unit. "These new facilities, which will host eight new chemical synthesis stations, will be instrumental in helping us achieve our aggressive growth goals." The laboratory complex was intentionally designed to accommodate future growth with minimal interruptions to ongoing R&D activities. In addition to the new facility, Albemarle also commemorated the successful implementation of a new Parallel Polymerization Reactor (PPR) system at the PDC. The new system will help Albemarle's R&D team in facilitating the discovery, development and commercialization of polyolefin catalysts. "The new PPR system will allow us to significantly accelerate the optimization of new polyolefin catalysts," stated Edgar Steenwinkel, R&D Director for Performance Catalyst Solutions. "As a result, we can expect a considerable decrease in time-to-market for these innovative catalyst systems that are tailored to meet the specific needs of our customers." Two existing laboratories, the Polymer Lab and the High Throughput Lab were also expanded as part of the PDC upgrades. The latter expansion was conducted to accommodate the new PPR. The PDC currently offers a unique combination of world-class capabilities including laboratory synthesis and analysis, product development, pilot plant and commercial scale-up and full-scale manufacturing. This combination allows the PDC to rapidly foster products and technology from conceptualization through commercialization.