On April 6, 1865, BASF is founded in Mannheim. The emerging company is intended to produce dyes, as well as the necessary inorganic chemicals. When attempts to purchase a site in Mannheim on the Baden side of the Rhine fail, the facilities are built on the opposite river bank in Ludwigshafen, a city of the Palatinate region. Very soon afterwards, the new company launches its first innovative products.
BASF starts early research on nitrogen around the turn of the century. But it is not before the launch of the ammonia synthesis in 1913 that the plant nutrient is available in abundance. A completely new field of activity opens up for BASF.
BASF builds on its expertise in the Haber-Bosch process and develops additional areas to apply high-pressure technology: the hydrogenation of coal to generate synthetic fuel and the production of synthetic rubber (Buna).
1945 – 1964 / From New Beginnings to the Plastic Age
After the French military occupation and many years of negotiating the decentralization of I.G. Farben, the Badische Anilin- & Sodafabrik Aktiengesellschaft is reestablished on January 30, 1952. Initially reduced to its original factories in Ludwigshafen and Oppau and its traditional product lines, BASF still take parts in the economic boom that gets underway in the 1950s.
1965 – 1989 / The Road to Becoming a Transnational Company
On its 100th anniversary in 1965, BASF is already on its way to becoming a transnational company: With the launch of production sites abroad and further investments in the U.S., the company is strengthening its presence in highly industrialized countries and markets worldwide.
1990 Until Today / Sustainable Start to the New Millennium
For BASF, the turn of the millennium is marked by a global presence, a focus on core business areas, and by optimizing its product portfolio. Sustainability becomes a ground- breaking business strategy.