History

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The starch polymer innovator
since 1965


Chemstar was launched in 1965 with an ambitious goal: to become a world leader in starch polymer production. During the past 50+ years, we have evolved to make that vision a reality, with a commitment to constant product innovation, unyielding integrity and unparalleled customer service. Review our history timeline to discover how Chemstar has grown to meet the ever-changing needs of the marketplace.

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1960s

  • Production begins with simple, extruded pre-gel corn products from our McPherson, Kansas plant.
  • Sales grow quickly as rapidly expanding oil and gas companies demand products to help control fluid loss in drilling.

timeline
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1970s

  • In addition to upgrading our extrusion capacity, we launch a
    drum dryer pre-gel capability and add a dry corn mill for
    degerminated corn meal, an essential extruder raw material.
  • Our Carlton, Minnesota plant opens in 1979 to serve mining and
    drilling markets in the northwest U.S. The facility converts to a
    new drying technology to better serve the growing market for
    starch ether/derivative products.

timeline
timeline
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1980s

  • We establish a starch derivative business at the Carlton plant.
  • The company grows internationally as oil and gas customers increasingly turn to our advanced products, such as StarPak.
  • We broaden our market presence by delivering solutions for customers in mining and textile industries.
  • A second generation of the Werler family, Jim, joins the team.

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1990s

  • The McPherson plant‘s capacity is extended and its technical capabilities improved.
  • As derivative starch product sales and associated markets continue to grow, our Carlton and McPherson facilities add capacity and improve processes to meet demand—from domestic and international customers.
  • Sales & R&D capabilities expand to meet growing demand.
    Chemstar cements its leadership in drill-in starch solutions.

timeline
timeline
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2000s

  • We continue to develop new bio-based starch product applications for industries on the cutting edge of environmental consciousness and technological innovation.
  • We purchase and upgrade an idle cellulose plant in Brookhaven, Mississippi, to produce a new line of starch/ether derivatives from a state-of-the-art process.
  • Our newly developed microtox-friendly products set a new standard in the oil and gas industry.
  • Chemstar patents awarded for solutions in environmental and drilling applications. Joint venture patents awarded for solutions developed in collaboration with customers.
  • Our HydraStar product expands Chemstar’s presence in mining.

Always collaborating,
always customizing


Through the decades, Chemstar has always maintained a spirit of collaboration and a commitment to customizing our polymers to achieve specific results. Between the superior performance of our starch polymers and our proven and powerful chemistry, we have the expertise to drive the outcomes you demand. Learn more about our Custom Development.