WASHINGTON, D. C. 20549

                                    FORM 8-K

                                 CURRENT REPORT

                     Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the

                         Securities Exchange Act of 1934

         Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported) July 24, 2003

                              ALBEMARLE CORPORATION
               (Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

              Virginia                  1-12658           54-1692118
              --------                  -------           ----------
             (State or Other         (Commission        (IRS Employer
              Jurisdiction of         File Number)       Identification No.)

               330 South Fourth Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219
              (Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)

      Registrant's telephone number, including area code - (804) 788-6000
                Registrant's website address: www.albemarle.com

       Former name or former address, if changed since last report - N/A

2 Item 5 Other Events and Regulation FD Disclosure. On July 24, 2003, the Company issued a press release, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit 99.1. Exhibit 99.1 Albemarle Corporation press release dated July 24, 2003.

3 Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto authorized. Date: July 24, 2003 ALBEMARLE CORPORATION /s/ ROBERT G. KIRCHHOEFER ------------------------ Robert G. Kirchhoefer Treasurer and Chief Accounting Officer

4 EXHIBIT INDEX Exhibit No. 99.1 Albemarle Corporation press release dated July 24, 2003.

                                                                 Sarah McCoy
                                                                Michael Whitlow

             Albemarle Completes Acquistion of Rhodia's Polyurethane
                            Flame Retardants Business

Richmond, Va., July 24, 2003 - Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) has completed
the acquisition of the phosphorus-based polyurethane flame retardants businesses
of Rhodia. These products are used in rigid and flexible polyurethane foam
applications. Albemarle has also acquired Rhodia's ammonium polyphosphate
product range, which has applications in textiles, timber and coatings.

This addition to Albemarle's polymer business segment is expected to generate
sales of about $65 million in its first year. Albemarle is acquiring a
production site in Avonmouth in the United Kingdom, and will be supplied with
flame retardants and intermediates manufactured at Rhodia's sites in Charleston
S.C., and in Oldbury and Widnes in the United Kingdom. About 75 employees will
join Albemarle as part of this transaction.

"This is an important acquisition in our strategy to become the leading flame
retardants supplier in the industry," said Luc Van Muylem, Albemarle's global
business director. "With this extensive new offering in the polyurethane area to
add to our portfolio, we are offering our global consumers the best value and
performance in all major flame retardant technologies."

According to Albemarle, the addition of the polyurethane flame retardants will
greatly improve its ability to compete in the market for flame resistant
furniture foams, an important safety issue receiving regulatory and legislative
attention throughout the world. Furniture that complies with California Bureau
of Home Furnishings Technical Bulletin 117 standards is being promoted by fire
marshals and consumer groups in North America as one way to prevent death and
injury in home fires.

The acquisition also brings a range of "non-halogenated" flame retardants to the
portfolio, an area of focus for Albemarle in recent product development and
acquisitions. Albemarle has a strong, leadership position in both bromine-based
and mineral-based flame retardants, with global marketing supported by cost
efficient production.

Albemarle Corporation, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, is a leading
producer of specialty chemicals for consumer electronics; pharmaceuticals;
agricultural, automotive and industrial products; and construction and packaging
materials. The company's two business segments, Polymer Chemicals and Fine
Chemicals -- which includes custom manufacturing services for the life sciences
market -- serve customers in more than 80 countries, generating revenue of
approximately $1 billion. To learn more about the Company, go to