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The Chemicals segment focuses on maintaining and developing BASF’s Production Verbund. BASF’s unique Verbund system of highly integrated production sites offers substantial competitive advantages. The main success factors for this segment are operational and technological excellence, scale effects, integration and raw material availability, reliable and low cost logistics, as well as the reduction of complexity.


The BASF Group develops, produces and markets about 700 intermediates around the world. The most important of the division’s product groups include amines, diols, polyalcohols, acids and specialties. Intermediates are used as starting materials for coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textile fibers, detergents and crop protectants. Innovative intermediates from BASF help to improve the properties of final products and the efficiency of production processes.

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With about 300 different amines, we have the world’s most diverse portfolio of this type of chemical intermediates. Along with alkyl-, alkanol-, alkoxyalkylamines and ethylene amines, we offer heterocyclic and aromatic as well as specialty amines. The range is completed by a portfolio of chiral amines of high optical and chemical purity. The versatile products are used mainly to manufacture process chemicals, pharmaceuticals and crop protection agents, as well as cosmetic products and detergents. They also serve to produce coatings, specialty plastics, composites and specialty fibers.
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Acids and polyalcohols

BASF is the world’s leading manufacturer of polyalcohols such as neopentylglycol and 1,6 hexanediol, carbonates and carboxylic acids, such as formic and propionic acid. Carboxylic acids are used as preservatives for the feed and food industries, auxiliaries for textile and leather applications and de-icing agents. The acids portfolio also includes higher carboxylic acids (HCAs) such as 2-ethylhexanoic acid and isononanoic acid, which are primarily utilized in synthetic lubricants, paint dryer and PVB plasticizer applications. Polyalcohols are mainly used in the production of coatings, and carbonates are primarily sold to the battery industry for the production of electrolytes.

Acetylenics and carbonyl derivatives

These specialty intermediates are based on raw materials from BASF’s Verbund such as acetylene and chlorine. Among the specialty acetylenics are vinyl monomers, acetylenic alcohols, and higher alkylpyrrolidones. Chlorine-based intermediates include acid chlorides and chloroformates. Further specialty intermediates are glyoxal, glutaraldehyde, cyclododecanone (CDon), imidazoles and triphenylphosphine. The products serve as building blocks for crop protection agents and pharmaceuticals or as monomers and performance additives for polymers, coatings and printing inks.

Butanediol and its derivatives

BASF is the world’s largest manufacturer of 1,4-butanediol, a chemical building block for products such as polyesters and polyurethanes. Its derivatives, used to manufacture products ranging from fibers to paints and pharmaceuticals, include captively produced products such as polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), tetrahydrofuran (THF), PolyTHF®, gamma-butyrolactone and N-methylpyrrolidone.

Complete Solutions for Gas Treatment

As one of the leading companies in the field of gas treatment worldwide we are the preferred partner for complex new gas plants. BASF´s proven gas treatment technologies boast about 400 references around the globe, from the deserts of North Africa to the Arctic Circle, including the world´s largest gas treatment units. Under the OASE® brand, BASF provides customized, technologically superior gas treatment technologies for many application fields. Production and storage facilities in the Americas, Europe and Asia ensure very high reliability of delivery and supply of quality solvents worldwide.


The Monomers division supplies a broad portfolio of large volume monomers, basic polymers and inorganic chemicals. The major products include MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate), TDI (toluene diisocyanate), caprolactam, adipic acid, polyamide 6 and 6.6, ammonia, nitric acid, sulfur and chlorine products, inorganic salts, urea, melamine, glues and impregnating resins.

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BASF is the world leader in isocyanates, which are key components to produce soft or rigid foams. Our portfolio includes MDI and TDI.  MDI can be used to make flexible foams as well as semi-rigid and rigid polyurethane plastics. Primary applications are construction, consumer appliances, automotive components and shoe soles. TDI is used primarily in manufacturing flexible foams for mattresses, cushions for furniture and automotive seating. Our portfolio also includes propylene oxide, another important precursor for the polyurethane value chain.

Inorganic chemicals

Inorganic chemicals are mainly used as precursors for plastics, amines and other high-value chemicals. Our portfolio ranges from basic chemicals to inorganic salts: ammonia, chlorine, caustic soda, nitric acid,  sulfuric acid, standard alcoholates and ammonium salts. We are one of the leading suppliers of sodium nitrate (used as a component for solar thermal power plant storage media), sodium methylate (a catalyst used for the production of biodiesel) and various inorganic salts for industries such as food, feed, textiles and paper. 
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Polyamides and precursors

BASF is the world’s leading supplier of high-quality polyamides and polyamide precursors like caprolactam or adipic acid. We offer a wide range of polyamides for injection molding and extrusion, including PA6 grades (Ultramid® B), PA66 grades (Ultramid® A), as well as special grades based on copolyamides (Ultramid® C).  Our polyamides are the materials of choice for many applications, including engineering plastics, films for food packaging, textiles and carpets.

Propylene Oxides and Propylene Glycols

Propylene oxide serves as a base for a wide variety of products, including hydraulic fluids, propylene glycol and polyols. Propylene glycols are used in technical applications as heat-transfer fluids or antifreeze agents, as components for manufacturing fire-resistant brake and hydraulic fluids and as a raw material for airplane de-icing agents. For more stringent requirements, such as those in the cosmetics industry, 1,2-Propylene Glycol USP can be produced in high-purity odorless quality. This opens up other fields of applications in the food and feed industry, the aroma and fragrance chemicals sector and the pharmaceutical industry. 
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Glues & Impregnating Resins

BASF offers a wide variety of tailor-made glues and impregnating resins, which are used to manufacture many different types of panel boards and laminated flooring for the woodworking industry. Additionally, the unit produces AdBlue®, a high-purity urea solution used in trucks and passenger cars to reduce NOX emissions from diesel engines.


Products such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene and benzene are produced in steam crackers from naphtha or natural gas. Using these, we produce alcohols, solvents and plasticizers for the chemical and plastics industries. Alkylene oxides and glycols are starting materials for the detergents, automotive, packaging and textile industries. Acrylic monomers are used in the production of paints, coatings and cosmetics as well as oilfield, construction and paper chemicals. To meet specific customer demands, our specialty monomers can be ideally incorporated into the value-adding chain for acrylates and methacrylates.

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Acrylic monomers

BASF is a technology leader in acrylic acid and the world’s largest and most widespread producer of acrylic monomers, which are sold to internal and external customers in the form of acrylic acid, acrylic esters and specialty acrylates. Acrylic monomers are used as precursors to manufacture acrylic polymers and polymer dispersions for various applications such as superabsorbent polymers, flocculants, surfactants, adhesives and coatings.

Alcohols and solvents

BASF is the world’s largest producer of oxo alcohols and is also a major producer of oxygenated solvents in Europe, including acetates, glycol ethers, glycol ether acetates and specialty solvents. Our major customer industries are paints and coatings, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Ethylene Oxide and Ethylene Glycols

Ethylene oxide, derived from ethylene, is used mainly to produce surfactants, ethanolamines, glycols, glycol ethers and polyols. Ethylene glycol is used in antifreeze applications and for the production of fibers, films and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles.
Eine Fläche von rund 64.000 Quadratmetern - das entspricht 13 Fußballfeldern - umfasst der Steamcracker II, die größte einzelne Anlage am Standort Ludwigs­hafen der BASF. Der Cracker ist auch das "Herzstück" der Verbundproduktion. Seit 1981 ist dieser Gigant in Betrieb und spaltet unter Zusatz von Wasserdampf bei etwa 850 Grad Celsius Rohbenzin auf. Dabei entstehen im wesentlichen Ethylen und Propylen, beides unverzichtbare Grundstoffe für die Herstellung vieler Produkte in Ludwigshafen. Abdruck honorarfrei. Copyright by BASF.  Steam cracker II, the largest individual plant at BASF's Ludwigshafen site, covers a surface area of about 64,000 square meters, which is about the size of 13 soccer fields. The steam cracker is also the heart of BASF's Verbund production strategy. This giant plant has been operating since 1981 and uses steam to crack naphtha at about 850°C [1,562°F]. This process leads primarily to ethylene and propylene, both indispensable feedstocks for manufacturing numerous products in Ludwigshafen.Print free of charge. Copyright by BASF.

Cracker products

BASF produces the entire range of cracker products from ethylene and propylene to butadiene, butenes and benzene. Of these, propylene is the most important starting product for BASF’s value chains.


As an innovative partner with a wide range of plasticizer products, BASF / BTC offer flexible solutions for our customers' requirements. Plasticizers are used in many different applications, including films, cables, compounds, coatings, flooring, hoses and profiles. Even sensitive applications such as toys, medical equipment, sports and leisure equipment, and food packaging now depend on alternative plasticizers such as Hexamoll® DINCH. We adapt our product portfolio to the needs of a changing market. 


BASF’s Catalysts division is the world’s leading supplier of environmental and process catalysts. The group offers exceptional expertise in the development of technologies that protect the air we breathe, produce the fuels that power our world, and ensure efficient production of a wide variety of chemicals, plastics and other products, including advanced battery materials. By leveraging our industry-leading R&D platforms, passion for innovation and deep knowledge of precious and base metals, BASF’s Catalysts division develops unique, proprietary solutions that drive customer success. 

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Die BASF produziert eine Vielzahl von Katalysatoren. Katalysatoren kommen bei den meisten chemischen Prozessen zum Einsatz. Innovationen in der chemischen Industrie werden hauptsächlich durch Katalysatoren-Forschung und -Entwicklung vorangetrieben. BASF setzt Katalysatoren in mehr als 80 % der eigenen Produktionsstätten ein.
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BASF produces a variety of catalysts. The majority of chemical processes are based on catalysts. Innovation in the chemical industry is predominantly driven by catalyst research and development. At BASF, we employ catalysts in more than 80% of our own production facilities.
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Process catalysts and technologies

Our catalyst products are a vital and strategic part of chemical process technology. Catalysts play a crucial role in 90% of all commercially produced chemical products. Catalysis is a process in which the rate of a chemical reaction is increased by a specific catalyst offering. Each heterogeneous catalyst is specific to a given process and can be tailored to provide a given set of end results – speed of reaction or process, enhanced product attributes, and the selectivity of end products. Choosing the right catalyst for the process is a critical factor for success. 

BASF is the leading global manufacturer of catalysts for the chemical industry, with solutions across the chemical value chain. The business also provides oil refining technology catalysts, including fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts, co-catalysts and additives. It also offers adsorbents, which are used for purification, moisture control and sulfur recovery.


Precious metals - supply, financing and risk management

Precious metals constitute a high proportion of the cost of many chemical catalysts. BASF has a dedicated team to manage the supply and trading of precious metals for BASF businesses globally. We can extend this expertise directly to BASF’s catalyst customers. The team provides financing and risk management services to help BASF customers procure these high-value commodities and put them to use as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible. For example, leasing precious metals for a catalyst, rather than purchasing outright, can significantly reduce the capital expenditure required. We can also arrange for advance purchase of metal if a customer wishes to fix some or all of their metal costs ahead of fabrication.


BASF provides components for lubricant solutions for a variety of industry applications but also finished lubricants

for transportation and industrial. BASF’s high performance base stocks, metal working fluid components and lubricant

oil additives offer a broad range of features.

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Lubricant Additives

Our Lubricant Additives business produces ashless components and packages to formulate high quality solutions for the lubricant industry in Group I, II, and III base stocks. Our antioxidant, antiwear, and corrosion inhibitor/metal deactivator components are also effective in many synthetic base stock types.

Base Stocks and Components for Metalworking Fluids

BASF is a global supplier of high-performance synthetic esters and PAG lubricant base stocks as well as a major supplier of metalworking fluid components. As one of the world's largest chemical companies, we are committed to supply the lubricants' market with extensive expertise in product development and applications experience to serve all needs.


As one of the world´s leading producers of Polyisobutene (PIB), we offer the broadest range with different molecular weights. Polyisobutene enhances manufacturing processes and product effectiveness.