Engine Protection and Environmental Benefit Meet in New Valvoline™ Motor Oil

NextGen™ Motor Oil Features Breakthrough Formula Using 50 Percent Recycled Oil

LEXINGTON, KY. — April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Valvoline™, a brand of Ashland Inc., announced the wide-scale availability of NextGen™ motor oil. The new formula is made from 50 percent recycled oil and delivers 100 percent Valvoline engine protection. NextGen motor oil is great for engines and better for the environment, exceeding industry specifications with reduced environmental impact compared to non-recycled motor oil.

NextGen motor oil is the culmination of years of continued research, technology and innovation from Valvoline scientists coupled with improvements in the oil re-refining process. Valvoline chemists now have the ability to pair the company’s award-winning additive chemistry with recycled base oils that meet its exacting standards. The result is a high-performance product that uses 50 percent recycled oil and matches the quality of other Valvoline motor oils (that use non-recycled base oil).

“Unlike vertically integrated oil and energy companies, our sole focus is motor oil, so we are constantly looking to innovate and bring the highest-quality motor oil products to consumers,” said Sam Mitchell, President of Valvoline. “NextGen takes advantage of our technology and expertise in a formulation that uses recycled oil and delivers the quality and performance we demand to put the Valvoline ‘V’ on the bottle.”

Oil Can Be Re-Used

Since base oil doesn’t completely wear out – it simply gets dirty – used oil can be re-refined and re-used. Today’s re-refining technology has advanced significantly and now follows a technical process almost identical to that used for crude oil refining. The manufacturing process also offers environmental benefits, lessening the carbon footprint (versus crude refining) while producing base oil just as good as crude.

The Recycling Opportunity

American cars and trucks use over three billion quarts of motor oil each year. While many Americans dispose of used oil properly, Valvoline aims to inspire more to follow suit. One gallon of improperly disposed oil can contaminate up to one million gallons of drinking water. In addition to its potentially harmful effects to our ecosystems, oil is also a precious resource.  If every American switched to NextGen recycled motor oil, it would save 400 million gallons of crude oil.  That’s enough barrels to stretch from New York to Los Angeles and back – every year.

National Call-to-Action: Let’s Do M.O.R.E. (Motor Oil Recycling Education)

April is National Recycling Month and Valvoline is focusing its efforts on M.O.R.E. (Motor Oil Recycling Education). NextGen motor oil provides a platform to educate consumers about the larger environmental impact we can achieve through completing the cycle: changing oil, recycling oil and using recycled oil products.

Few Americans debate the critical importance of oil and the benefits of using our existing resources. In a recent survey, American consumers acknowledged that oil is both an important (60%) and valuable (57%) resource, and overwhelmingly agree that the United States relies too heavily on other countries for oil (95%). Despite their awareness of the issue, their understanding of how to protect and preserve our existing oil is limited. For instance, nearly seven in ten people found the motor oil recycling process to be more confusing than filing their income taxes. Further, 41 percent of Americans falsely believe that motor oil can be recycled only once, and 35 percent of Americans are unaware that motor oil can be recycled at all.* Valvoline is committed to illuminating the connection between conservation and motor oil recycling to spur action that makes a difference.

Consumers can find out more about motor oil recycling at www.nextgenmotoroil.com – from where and how to dispose of it to the opportunity we have to conserve and lessen our dependence on crude oil. Valvoline is also challenging Americans to help shine a light on this critical issue. Let’s Do M.O.R.E. allows consumers to click and show their commitment to closing the loop by recycling oil and using recycled oil products. For each person who clicks, Valvoline will donate $1 to Keep America Beautiful to help protect and preserve our community environments (up to a maximum of $250,000).

Get it Now: For “Do It Yourself” or “Do It For Me” Customers

NextGen conventional, high mileage and synthetic blend oil variants will be available for sale at major automotive retailers starting as early as April 1, with wide retail availability April 15. NextGen oil changes will also be offered as an option at more than 500 Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations effective April 7, with more service centers adding the NextGen oil change option throughout the summer. To find a Valvoline Instant Oil Change location nearest you that offers NextGen oil changes visit www.vioc.com.

Spreading the Word: Gearing Up America

Valvoline is partnering with Rutledge Wood, co-host of “Top Gear U.S.” on the History Channel and NASCAR analyst for the SPEED Channel, to help raise awareness about the importance of recycling motor oil.  Wood will serve as NextGen brand ambassador, making retail and media appearances, as well as participating in training and educational seminars. For Wood, a self-proclaimed “gearhead,” it’s a cause he’s passionate about. “I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to help spread the word about motor oil recycling and NextGen motor oil,” said Wood. “This is not only a great new product, but it represents a platform to drive a behavioral change – a simple step towards doing the right thing and helping the environment.”

About Valvoline
Valvoline, a brand of Ashland Inc., has been serving American motorists longer than any other motor oil. The Valvoline family of products includes Eagle One™ appearance products, Car Brite™ car restoration products, Zerex™ antifreeze, SynPower™ performance products, Pyroil™ automotive chemicals and MaxLife™ products created for higher-mileage engines. With more than 800 locations throughout the United States, Valvoline Instant Oil Change™ is a leader in serving the quick lube market.

About Ashland
In more than 100 countries, the people of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH) provide the specialty chemicals, technologies and insights to help customers create new and improved products for today and sustainable solutions for tomorrow. Our chemistry is used every day in applications from automotive, food and beverages, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and paper and tissue to durable goods and infrastructure, including building and construction, energy and water treatment. Visit www.ashland.com to see the innovations we offer through our four commercial units -- Ashland Aqualon Functional Ingredients, Ashland Hercules Water Technologies, Ashland Performance Materials and Ashland Consumer Markets (Valvoline).

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, Inc. is the nation’s largest volunteer-based community improvement and education organization whose network of more than 1,000 affiliate and participating organizations engages individuals in programs that prevent litter and reduce, reuse, recycle and properly manage waste materials. Through public-private partnerships and strategic alliances with citizens, businesses and government, Keep America Beautiful's programs motivate millions of volunteers annually to clean up, beautify and improve their neighborhoods, creating safer and more livable community environments. To learn more about Keep America Beautiful, visit www.kab.org.

*An online study of 2,176 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and older, conducted on behalf of Valvoline by Kelton Research in March 2011.