The Monomers division supplies a broad portfolio of large- volume monomers, basic polymers and inorganic chemicals. Major products include MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate), TDI (toluene diisocyanate), propylene oxide, caprolactam, adipic acid, hexamethylenediamine, ammonia, polyamide 6 and 6.6, nitric acid, sulfur and chlorine products, inorganic salts, urea, melamine, glues and impregnating resins. The products are used in a broad spectrum of industries, such as the automotive, furniture, construction, woodworking, food, feed, solar, packaging and textile industries.

Sales by region 2020 (location of customer)


Sales by direct customer industry 2020


Isocyanates and propylene oxide

The portfolio of isocyanates consists of MDI and TDI. BASF is the world leader in isocyanates, which are key components to produce soft or rigid foams. MDI is a versatile isocyanate that can be used to make flexible foams as well as semi-rigid and rigid polyurethane plastics. Its primary applications are construction, consumer appliances, automotive components and shoe soles. TDI is an isocyanate used primarily in the manufacturing of flexible foams. Its main applications include mattresses and cushions for furniture and automotive seating.

The portfolio also includes propylene oxide, the main raw material for polyether polyols. Polyols are – together with isocyanates – the second key component for polyurethane foams. Other applications for propylene oxide are propylene glycols, surfactants and amines.

Polyamides and precursors 

BASF is the world’s leading supplier of high-quality polyamides, with the trade name Ultramid®, and polyamide precursors such as caprolactam, hexamethylenediamine or adipic acid. BASF started manufacturing Ultramid® polyamides over 50 years ago. Today, BASF offers a wide product range of polyamides for injection molding and extrusion. The product range includes PA 6 grades (Ultramid® B), PA 6.6 grades (Ultramid® A) and special grades based on copolyamides (Ultramid® C).

BASF’s polyamides are the materials of choice for many applications:

  • Engineering plastics: Ultramid® is used to produce molding compounds. Due to their outstanding properties, these materials have become indispensable in almost all fields of engineering for the most varied components and machine parts, as high-quality electrical insulating materials and for many special applications.
  • Films for food packaging: Ultramid® is especially well-suited for the packaging sector due to its high strength, outstanding thermoformability, high thermal stability and very good barrier properties towards gases, especially oxygen, flavors and aromas.
  • Textiles and carpets: The variety of Ultramid® grades for textiles enables the manufacturing of superior quality textiles for hosiery, swimwear and high-tech outdoor garments as well as high-end polyamide carpets and technical fiber applications.

Inorganic chemicals 

Inorganic chemicals are mainly used as precursors for plastics, amines and other high-value chemicals. The product portfolio ranges from basic chemicals to inorganic salts:

  • Ammonia
  • Chlorine
  • Caustic soda
  • Nitric acid
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Standard alcoholates
  • Ammonium salts

More than half of these products are for captive use within BASF’s Verbund. The remaining products are sold primarily to other chemical companies. We are also 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 a variety of inorganic salts for different industries such as food, feed, textiles and paper.

Glues and impregnating resins

BASF, the inventor of Kaurit® and Kauramin® glues is the no. 1 producer and seller of glues and impregnating resins for different types of panel boards and laminated flooring. The portfolio encompasses liquid and powder glues specifically developed to produce a broad range of wood-based materials that meet lowemission standards. Powder glues are also used in other industries, for example, to produce clutch linings in vehicles. BASF’s impregnating resins have been designed for the treatment of various papers, including for overlay, counterbalance and décor papers for the flooring or furniture industry. Additionally, the unit produces AdBlue®, a high-purity urea solution that is used in trucks and passenger cars to reduce NOx emissions from diesel engines.

  • Isocyanates – TDI: No. 1 globally, MDI: No. 2 globally
  • Polyamide film: No. 1 globally
  • Glues and impregnating resins: No. 1 in glues in Europe
  • Inorganic chemicals: No. 1 in inorganic salts in Europe and South America

  • Isocyanates: Covestro, Wanhua, Dow, Huntsman
  • Polyamide film: DSM, Ube, YueYang, AdvanSix
  • Glues and impregnating resins: Dynea, Sadepan
  • Inorganic chemicals: Evonik, Esseco
  • Polyols: Dow, Covestro, Shell

The main aim of process innovation is to optimize existing production technologies and develop new, highly efficient processes offering considerable cost advantages.

(from 2018 onward)

Product group Description        Year
Ammonia New world-scale ammonia plant in Freeport, Texas, JV with Yara 2018
Polyamide Acquisition of Solvay’s polyamide business 2020
MDI   Expansion of MDI JV in Caojing, China           2018
Expansion of MDI production in Geismar, Louisiana 2020–2021
Sodium methylate Expansion of sodium methylate plant in Guaratinguetá, Brazil 2020

(from 2018 onward)

Product group Description Year
TDI Shutdown of TDI plant in Schwarzheide, Germany 2020

(thousand metric tons per year)

Product group Capacity
Ammonia 1,765
Adipic acid1 720
Chlorine 595
Glues and impregnating resins 750
Sulfuric acid 920
Urea 545
Caprolactam 700
Polyamide 925
MDI 1,830
TDI 780
Propylene oxide 675

1 Including joint ventures


Sustainable roof insulation with biomass balanced raw materialng

With BauderECO, the German company Bauder has developed a sustainable roof insulation material that is largely made from biomass, recyclable and near-natural starting materials. Lupranat® M70R/MB – an isocyanate from BASF – makes up a large part of this. Biomethane is used in the production of Lupranat via the certified biomass balance process in the Production Verbund. In this way, the renewable raw material can be assigned to the product. The roof insulation material BauderECO offers maximum insulation performance with minimum raw material and energy input. BASF thus makes an important contribution to climate protection.

Last Update June 8, 2021