Renewable Raw Materials

The towers of the aromatics plant on Friesenheim Island, a part of BASF’s Ludwigshafen Verbund site, are visible in the background. This facility can supply the Verbund with up to 300,000 metric tons of benzene per year. It is one of the central Verbund plants that are directly linked to both steam crackers. The steam crackers produce a number of important basic chemical products, including in particular ethylene and propylene.

Why do we use renewable raw materials at BASF?

First of all, renewable raw materials may feature unique properties and functionalities that are either impossible or very difficult to create using fossil resources. Production based on renewable raw materials may thereby save costs and at the same time often enables innovation. In addition to that using renewable raw materials helps to save fossil resources and may contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We evaluate the impact on the environment during production and the use of products based on renewable raw materials using life cycle analysis methods. The comparison of life cycle analysis of competing products shows which alternative is more sustainable. We also see that customers are increasingly interested in products based on renewable raw materials as they are often perceived as healthier, more natural and having a positive environmental impact. Last, but not least the use of renewable raw materials broadens our raw materials basis and thus reduces the dependency on fossil resources.

In 2023, we purchased around 1 million metric tons of renewable raw materials, mainly based on vegetable oils, fats, grains, sugar and wood. We use these to produce ingredients for the detergent and cleaner industry and natural active ingredients for the cosmetics industry, for example. We further use renewable feedstocks such as biomethane and bionaphtha in our Verbund as an alternative to fossil resources.