The Intermediates division manufactures about 600 products, which are sold worldwide. These include butanediol and its derivatives, amines, organic acids, polyalcohols, life science intermediates, solvents and OASE® gas treatment solutions. They are often the result of multistep production processes within BASF. Customers typically purchase them as precursors for their downstream chemicals, and they are widely used for BASF’s own downstream products. The Intermediates division focuses primarily on the C1 and C2 value chains.

Sales by region 2022 (location of customer)


Sales by direct customer industry 2022


Acetylenics and carbonyl derivatives
These specialty intermediates are based on raw materials from BASF’s Verbund, such as acetylene and chlorine. Among the acetylene derivatives are vinyl monomers, acetylenic alcohols and higher alkylpyrrolidones. Chlorine-based intermediates include acid chlorides and chloroformates. Further specialty intermediates are glyoxal and imidazoles, cyclododecanone (CDon), 2-mercaptoethanol 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.

Acids and polyalcohols
BASF is the world’s leading manufacturer of polyalcohols, such as neopentyl glycol (NPG) and 1,6 hexanediol (HDO), and carboxylic acids, such as formic and propionic acid. Carboxylic acids are used as preservatives for the feed and food industries, as auxiliaries for textile and leather applications and as deicing agents. The portfolio also includes higher carboxylic acids such as 2-ethylhexanoic acid (2-EHA) and isononanoic acid (iNA), which are primarily utilized in synthetic lubricants, paint dryer and PVC plasticizer applications. Polyalcohols are mainly offered for the production of a wide range of coatings.

With about 300 different amines, we have the world’s most diverse portfolio of this type of chemical intermediate. Along with alkyl-, alkanol-, alkoxyalkylamines and ethyleneamines, 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.

Butanediol and its derivatives
BASF is among the world’s largest manufacturers of 1,4-butanediol, which is a chemical building block for products such as polyesters and polyurethanes. Its derivatives are used to manufacture products ranging from fibers to paints, pharmaceuticals and lithium-ion batteries, and include N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and PolyTHF®.

We consistently align our innovation activities with the needs of our customers. As sustainability is the most important driver of innovation in many of our customer segments, we strive to make our product portfolio more sustainable and thus enable our customers to better achieve their sustainability goals.

In 2022, we launched a number of our chemical intermediates as “LowPCF” products globally. This suffix denotes the low carbon footprint (PCF) of these products relative to that of comparable products available on the markets. Our range of LowPCF products currently consists of tert-butylamine (tBA), formic acid (FA), propionic acid (PA), 1,6-hexanediol (HDO®) and NPG.

In addition, we have been globally offering NPG and PA produced at our Ludwigshafen Verbund site with the suffix “ZeroPCF.” We achieve this by using renewable raw materials in our unique Verbund production system via our biomass balance (BMB)1 approach. We additionally use renewable energy in the production of NPG.

As drop-in solutions, our LowPCF and ZeroPCF products have the identical quality and properties as standard products. As a result, our customers can use them without having to adapt their existing processes. Customers can easily and efficiently reduce their Scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and increase the share of renewable raw materials in the value chain, thus contributing to the transition to a circular economy.

1 The biomass balance approach allows fossil fuels to be replaced by renewable raw materials in BASF’s Production Verbund. The amount of renewable feedstock is allocated to specific products using a third party-verified certification method. For more information on the mass balance approach, see basf.com/massbalance

The Intermediates division holds one of the top three market positions in all strategic business areas in which it is active.

The main competitors (alphabetical order) include Dairen, Dow, Eastman, Huntsman, Luxi, LyondellBasell and Wanhua.

The main aim of process innovation is to optimize existing production technologies and develop new, highly efficient processes that offer significant sustainability contributions and cost benefits.

(from 2020 onward)

Product group Description Year
Neopentyl glycol Capacity expansion in Nanjing, China 2020
tert-Butylamine Capacity expansion in Nanjing, China 2021
2-Mercaptoethanol Capacity expansion in Ludwigshafen, Germany 2021
2-Ethylhexanoic acid Capacity expansion in Kuantan, Malaysia 2024
Propionic acid/ethanol­amines/ethyleneamines Capacity expansion in Nanjing, China 2024
Neopentyl glycol New plant in Zhanjiang, China 2025
Chlorofomates/acid chlorides Modernization in Ludwigshafen, Germany 2025

(from 2020 onward)

Product group Description Year
1,4-Butanediol   Closure of production line in Chiba, Japan 2020
Closure of production line in Kuantan, Malaysia 2021

(thousand metric tons per year)

Product group Capacity
Alkylamines 250
Ethanolamines and derivatives 440
Specialty amines ~100
Butanediol equivalents 550
PolyTHF® 350
Neopentyl glycol (Neol®) 255
Formic acid 305
Propionic acid 180

1 All capacities are included at 100%, including plants belonging to joint operations and joint ventures.

First floating LNG project with OASE®

BASF is taking a new approach to capturing carbon dioxide from certain waste gases. Over the past two years, BASF’s OASE® gas scrubbing technology has been successfully used for the first time in a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) plant. The plant, owned by Malaysian oil and gas company PETRONAS, uses a BASF process to remove acidic gas components. The plant is designed to extract natural gas from deep-sea gas reservoirs at depths of up to 1,500 meters.



Last Update May 26, 2023