BASF has produced its first commercial volumes of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) from renewable raw material, and is offering this product to customers for testing and commercial use. The production process relies on a patented fermentation technology from Genomatica, based in California. The fermentation process uses dextrose as a renewable feedstock. The quality of BDO based on renewable raw material is comparable to petrochemical-based BDO. BASF plans to expand its portfolio with selected BDO derivatives based on renewable feedstock, including Polytetrahydrofuran (PolyTHF®).
BDO and its derivatives are used for producing plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibres for the packaging, automotive, textile, and sports and leisure industries, among others. The starting materials for the production of conventional BDO are natural gas, butane, butadiene and propylene. BASF currently produces BDO and BDO equivalents at its sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Geismar, Louisiana; Chiba, Japan; Kuantan, Malaysia; and Caojing, China. In July BASF announced to increase its global capacities for BDO to 650,000 metric tonnes and for PolyTHF to 350,000 metric tonnes within the coming two years.
The BASF Groups Intermediates division develops, produces and markets a comprehensive portfolio of more than 700 intermediates around the world. Its most important product groups include amines, diols, polyalcohols, acids and specialities. Among other applications, intermediates are used as starting materials for coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textiles, detergents and crop protectants. Innovative intermediates from BASF help to improve both the properties of final products and the efficiency of production processes. The ISO 9001 certified Intermediates division operates plants at production sites in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Around the globe the division generated sales to third parties of about Ç2.9 billion in 2012. For more information, go to www.intermediates.basf.com.