BASF’s Catalysts division is the global market leader in catalyst technologies. The division develops and produces mobile emissions catalysts as well as process catalysts and technologies. It is also the home of BASF’s battery materials business and provides precious and base metals sourcing, recycling and management services. BASF expands its leading role in catalyst technology through continuous process and product innovation.

Sales by region 2019 (location of customer)


Sales by direct customer industry 20191


1 Excluding precious metal trading

Mobile emissions catalysts

BASF’s emissions abatement catalysts enable cost-effective regulatory compliance, providing technologies that control emissions from gasoline and diesel-powered passenger cars, trucks, buses, off-road vehicles and motorcycles.


Process catalysts and technologies 

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.


Battery materials

BASF is a leading global supplier of advanced cathode active materials (CAM) for the lithium-ion batteries market, providing highenergy density CAM to the world’s largest cell producers and into leading platforms of OEMs. BASF has a global presence with R&D and production capacity operating or announced in all regions, often leveraging partnerships. BASF is a frontrunner in developing innovative solutions and conducting next- generation battery materials research.

Emissions catalysts market – regulation remains primary demand driver1,2

1 Impact of current pandemic: six months delay in NS-6a regulation in China; potential delayed implementation of greenhouse gas regulation in the EU to ease burden on OEMs; discussion of delay to Brazilian Euro VI regulation 

2 Greenhouse gas regulations expected to further tighten after 2025

The global business unit precious and base metal services supports BASF’s mobile emissions catalysts and battery materials businesses and their customers with services related to precious and base metals sourcing and management. It purchases, refines, sells, distributes, stores and offers transportation services for metals. The business produces precious metals chemicals and is a global leader in precious metals recycling and refining. In addition, it also provides a variety of pricing and delivery arrangements to meet logistical, financial and price-risk management requirements.

  • Mobile emissions catalysts: No. 2 globally
  • Chemical catalysts: No. 1 globally
  • FCC refinery catalysts: No. 2 globally

  • Mobile emissions catalysts: Johnson Matthey, Umicore
  • Chemical catalysts: Clariant, Johnson Matthey
  • FCC refinery catalysts: W.R. Grace, Albemarle
  • Battery materials: Umicore, Nichia

For mobile emissions catalysts, the focus is on improved products to meet future vehicle emission standards. In the process catalysts business, priority is given to developing new and improved products. For battery materials, the focus is on offering comprehensive products meeting customer’s requirements for e-mobility applications, including improving energy density to extend driving range as well as stability, safety and cost.

Key capabilities of BASF

  • Global R&D footprint covering catalysts and battery materials
  • Technology leadership in mobile emissions, process catalysts and battery materials
  • Recognized precious metals expertise
  • Strong and growing position in Asia through fully owned entities and joint ventures
  • Operational excellence in catalyst and battery materials production and use

(from 2017 onward)

Product group Description Year
Mobile emissions catalysts   New manufacturing plant in Chennai, India 2017
New manufacturing plant in Rayong, Thailand 2018
New specialty zeolites manufacturing plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany 2019
New manufacturing plant in Shanghai, China 2019
Capacity expansion in Środa Śląska, Poland 2020
Process catalysts New chemical catalysts manufacturing plant in Caojing, China 2017
Battery materials   Expansion of cathode materials plant inOnoda, Japan 2017
BASF TODA America LLC formed 2018
New cathode material precursor manufacturing plant in Harjavalta, Finland 2022
New cathode material manufacturing plant in Schwarzheide, Germany 2022

(from 2017 onward)

Product group Description Year
Process catalysts Divestiture of the bleaching clay and mineral adsorbents business 2017
Battery materials Divestiture of the electrolytes manufacturing site in Suzhou, China 2017


New catalysts for olefin production using CO2

In collaboration with Linde and academic partners, we successfully produced syngas from methane and CO2 in a process known as “dry reforming.” This can be converted into dimethyl ether (DME) in an intermediate step and then into olefins, one of the main intermediates in the chemical industry. New catalysts from BASF are used in both the production of syngas and its subsequent conversion into DME. BASF scientists also developed proprietary production processes for the catalysts. Together with employees from the Catalysts division, the researchers transferred the new catalysts to production and worked on pilot tests in 2019.

Last Update June 19, 2020