Renewable 1,4-Butandiol (BDO) BASF to Strive for Large-Scale Production in Southeast Asia

Editor: M.A. Manja Wühr

BASF plan to expand its worldwide global capacities for 1,4-butanediol (BDO) by the turn of the year. The proportion of BDO from renewable feedstock should also be raised. Therefore the company now has purchased for Large-Scale Production renewable BDO.

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BSAF's production worker Thorsten Karl with BDO from renewable raw material, which will be soon produced in Southeast Asia too.
BSAF's production worker Thorsten Karl with BDO from renewable raw material, which will be soon produced in Southeast Asia too.
(Picture: BASF)

Ludwigshafen/Germany, San Diego/California – BASF wants to increase its global capacities for 1,4-Butandiol (BDO) to 650,000 metric tons and for PolyTHF to 350,000 metric tons by the end of 2015, and beginning of 2016, respectively. A part thereof will probably come from renewable feedstock. Finally, BASF has renegotiated its license agreement for the production of BDO based on renewable feedstock (renewable BDO) using Genomatica’s patented process. In addition to Northamerica the parties added certain countries in Southeast Asia.

The new license agreement allows BASF to build a world-scale production facility that will use the Genomatica process to manufacture renewable BDO. BASF has secured rights to allow production of up to 75,000 tons per year. Under the terms of the agreement, Genomatica will continue to advance its patented Geno BDO process technology for the production of renewable BDO. The process, which includes a single-step fermentation, can be based on dextrose or sucrose as renewable feedstock.

Renewable BDO Are of Equivalent Quality

“We are happy to expand our license agreement with Genomatica to the dynamic Asia-Pacific region,” said Stefan Blank, President of BASF’s Intermediates division, and added: “we appreciate Genomatica’s openness to give BASF greater flexibility to add BDO from renewable feedstock to our portfolio and to respond to market requirements.”

BASF has already produced commercial volumes of renewable BDO. The quality of this BDO is comparable to petrochemical-based BDO. BASF also expanded its portfolio by producing and offering Polytetrahydrofuran (PolyTHF) made from renewable BDO. BBDO and its derivatives are used for producing plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers for the packaging, automotive, textile, and sports and leisure industries, among others. BASF currently produces BDO and BDO equivalents at its sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Geismar, Louisiana; Chiba, Japan; Kuantan, Malaysia; and Caojing, China.

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