China: Base Metal Catalysts and Adsorbents BASF Inaugurates World-Scale Plant for Chemical Catalysts in China

Editor: Alexander Stark

BASF opened a new, world-scale chemical catalysts manufacturing plant in Caojing, Shanghai, China. The new plant is the company's first chemical catalysts manufacturing facility in the Asia Pacific region.

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BASF’s new world-scale chemical catalysts manufacturing plant in Caojing, Shanghai
BASF’s new world-scale chemical catalysts manufacturing plant in Caojing, Shanghai
(Source: BASF)

Caojing/China — The BASF wholly-owned plant is located in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) in Caojing. It will serve the growing chemical industry in China and around the Asia Pacific region, with base metal catalysts and absorbents, announced the company, adding that the plant will be highly automated and energy efficient. Together with its partners, the chemicals producer has invested approx. $ 3 billion as of the end of 2016 in state-of-the-art production located in Caojing.

Leveraging experience from the eleven chemical catalyst manufacturing sites around the world, the new plant will use cutting-edge production technologies to manufacture innovative catalysts and adsorbents. These are used, for example, in the production of fatty alcohols, styrene, butanediol.

The adsorbents are used in many applications to remove impurities from product streams, for example to purify olefins. Butanediol (BDO) serves as a chemical intermediate, among others, for the production of polytetrahydrofuran (Poly THF) and poly butylene terephthalate (PBT). Poly THF is used e.g. in the production of elastic spandex fibers, PBT predominantly in engineering polymers. Styrene is for example polymerized into polystyrene, which finds applications in packaging or insulation for buildings. Fatty alcohols are used as detergents and surfactants, typically used in cosmetics and in the food industry.

The new site will be supported by the new Process Catalyst R&D Center, located within the BASF Innovation Campus Asia Pacific in Pudong, Shanghai, which is focusing on the development of new process catalyst to meet specific needs in Asia. With strong research competencies in catalyst preparation, scaling and performance evaluation, this R&D Center will further strengthen the collaboration with partners in the region, and will provide support to the new chemical catalyst manufacturing site, the company claims.

“The start of our new, world-scale production plant for chemical catalysts in Shanghai represents a milestone for our process catalysts business. 60 % of the world’s chemical production will happen in Asia by 2020, with more than half of this in China,” said Detlef Ruff, BASF’s Senior Vice President, Process Catalysts. “Local production will significantly help us strengthen our relationships with customers from the chemical industry in Asia and further enhancing the customer experience with improved product availability and shortened lead times."

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