The Intermediates division manufactures about 700 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 generally quite resilient to economic cycles and are often the result of multi-step production processes within BASF. Customers typically purchase them as precursors for their downstream chemicals. The Intermediates division focuses primarily on the C1 and C2 value chains.
|Region||Sales in %|
|South America, Africa, Middle East||3%||4|
|Direct customer industry||Sales in %|
|Chemicals & plastics||85%||1|
|Health & nutrition||5%||2|
|Energy & resources||3%||4
BASF is the world’s largest manufacturer 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 and pharmaceuticals, and include captively produced products such as polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), tetrahydrofuran (THF), PolyTHF®, gamma-butyrolactone and N-methylpyrrolidone.
With about 300 different amines, we have the world’s most diverse portfolio of this type of chemical intermediates. Along with alkyl-, alkanol-, alkoxyalkylamines and ethylene amines, 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.
BASF is the world’s leading manufacturer of polyalcohols such as neopentylglycol and 1,6 hexanediol, carbonates 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 de-icing agents. The acids portfolio also includes higher carboxylic acids (HCAs) such as 2-ethylhexanoic acid and isononanoic acid, which are primarily utilized in synthetic lubricants, paint dryer and PVB plasticizer applications. Polyalcohols are mainly offered for the production of a wide range of coatings, and carbonates are primarily sold to the battery industry for the production of electrolytes.
These specialty intermediates are based on raw materials from BASF’s Verbund such as acetylene and chlorine. Among the specialty acetylenics are vinyl monomers, acetylenic alcohols, and higher alkylpyrrolidones. Chlorine-based intermediates include acid chlorides and chloroformates. Further specialty intermediates are glyoxal, glutaraldehyde, cyclododecanone (CDon), imidazoles 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.
The Intermediates division follows a clear innovation strategy, which is key for all product lines to further grow the businesses and improve profitability. Its innovation pipeline has an estimated net present value of approximately €765 million (not risk adjusted, 2018 view). The strategy is based on three pillars:
BASF’s Intermediates division is among the top three producers worldwide of its products in all strategic business units.
Innovation focuses on process improvements as well as new product and process developments built on value chain integration while leveraging our broad technological strengths and close customer partnerships.
(from 2015 onward)
|Formic acid||New plant in Geismar, Louisiana||2015|
|1,6-hexanediol||Capacity expansion in Freeport, Texas, and
|Neopentylglycol (NPG)||New plant in Nanjing, China (50% BASF)||2015|
|New plant in Nanjing, China (100% BASF)||2015|
|Specialty amines||New plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany||2015|
|BASF and Markor established two JVs in Korla, China||2015-2016|
|BDO capacity expansion in Geismar, Louisiana||2016|
|2-Ethylhexanoic acid||New plant in Kuantan, Malaysia||2016|
|Acetylene||Replacement of plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany||2019|
|Propionic acid||Capacity expansion in Nanjing, China||2019|
|Specialty amines||New plant in Nanjing, China||2019|
(from 2015 onward)
|Inorganic specialties||Divestiture incl. site in Evans City, Pennsylvania||2017|
(thousand metric tons per year)
|Ethanolamines and derivatives||430|
BASF is one of the leading global providers in the field of gas treatment. Our OASE® brand portfolio ranges from gas treatment agents to licensing for gas treatment processes and the planning of plants. The new OASE® connect online platform is particularly attractive for customers at remote locations. Special software enables them to find the optimum technical settings for their plants and manage them more efficiently, achieving energy savings of up to 20%.