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1913 / First Ammonia Synthesis Plant

Starting from the laboratory procedures of its Karlsruhe partner Fritz Haber (1868-1935), a BASF team headed by Carl Bosch (1874-1940) has been working on the realization of ammonia synthesis on an industrial scale since 1908. The task is accomplished in 1913 when the first ammonia synthesis plant goes into operation – at a newly constructed site at Oppau, north of Ludwigshafen. Ammonia synthesis is a classic example of cooperation between academia and industry.

Fertilizers can be produced industrially from then on; the crucial step in the era of mineral fertilization has been made. To date, the Haber-Bosch process secures the food of billions of people.

The Haber-Bosch process enables BASF to become the first company to employ high-pressure technology. It soon determines the image of the chemical industry.

Die neue Fabrik in Oppau um 1913
The BASF plant in Oppau  in 1913