BASF increases production capacity for methanesulfonic acid/Lutropur® in Ludwigshafen
- Expansion and strengthening of BASF´s leading position as supplier of methanesulfonic acid/Lutropur®
- Capacity tripled to 30 000 tonnes per year
- Demand for Lutropur® is continuing to increase
Ludwigshafen, Germany – September 6, 2012 – After a construction time of nearly two years, BASF has now started up production in the plant extension used to manufacture methanesulfonic acid in Ludwigshafen. BASF is the world’s leading manufacturer of methanesulfonic acid, which is marketed world-wide under the Lutropur® trademark, with a total capacity of 30 000 tonnes per year. Extending the Lutropur® plant has led to the creation of 12 additional jobs in Ludwigshafen.
Lutropur® is a readily biodegradable acid which enables customers in the chemical industry to design more efficient processes. Chemical reactions can often be operated at lower temperature for instance. Therefore, customers can save energy costs and resources.
“This increase in capacity is our response to the constant growth in demand for Lutropur®,” said Dr. Stefan Beckmann, Senior Vice President Home Care & Formulation Technologies Europe. “Lutropur® offers decisive advantages in many applications, and new markets are constantly opening up.”
“We are currently evaluating further options to satisfy the fast growing markets world-wide. Our next step will be in the region Asia/Pacific as we are planning the construction of a new methanesulfonic acid plant in Malaysia,” said Gabriel Tanbourgi, President of Care Chemicals. PETRONAS and BASF agreed in March 2012 to form a new entity (BASF 60%; PETRONAS 40%) to construct and operate a new production facility for methanesulfonic acid and others. These facilities are going to be built at a new site within PETRONAS´s proposed Refinery & Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) complex on Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia.
Lutropur® is a strong organic acid that is colorless, odor-free and easy to handle, and it is neither oxidizing nor reducing. Lutropur® is readily biodegradable and, unlike other grades of methanesulfonic acid, it is produced using a process that does not use chlorine. Because of the high solubility of its salts and the relatively low level of corrosion that it causes, it is increasingly being used as a high-performance alternative to other acids in phosphate-free cleaner formulations. So Lutropur® contributes to water protection because high amounts of phosphates in waste water streams causes eutrophication.
High purity by means of a special manufacturing process
Methanesulfonic acid is manufactured by means of a continuous process that has been developed and patented by BASF and which yields a product with very high purity. The BASF process does not employ chlorine.
Applications for Lutropur®
Lutropur® is used in industrial and household cleaners and in electroplating baths in the production of printed circuit boards and tin plate. It is employed in the pharmaceutical industry and the chemical industry as a feedstock for syntheses and as a catalyst.
About Home Care & Formulation Technologies Europe
BASF´s Home Care & Formulation Technologies Europe business unit develops, produces and markets a comprehensive range of products for detergent & cleaners, as well as for industrial and chemical applications. The portfolio includes surfactants, polymers, chelating agents, biocides, optical effect products, stabilizers, wax and wax emulsions, silicates and metal surface treatment products. Home Care & Formulation Technologies Europe is part of BASF´s Care Chemicals division.
About BASFBASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success, social responsibility and environmental protection. Through science and innovation we enable our customers in almost all industries to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and system solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring healthy food and nutrition and helping to improve the quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF posted sales of about €73.5 billion in 2011 and had more than 111,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com