BASF – More medium molecular weight polyisobutene from Ludwigshafen
BASF has started its expanded plant for medium molecular weight polyisobutene (MM PIB) in Ludwigshafen ahead of schedule. The result is an increase in capacity of 6,000 metric tons of MM PIB per year, which is marketed by BASF worldwide under the Oppanol® trademark. The company now has a total MM PIB capacity of 18,000 metric tons.
“By investing in this additional capacity, we can respond to the increasing worldwide demand for Oppanol® and support the dynamic development of the market for MM PIB,” said Dr. Hartmann Leube, head of strategic marketing and product development in BASF’s Performance Chemicals for Automotive and Refinery Industry unit.
“We can also promote innovation in the MM-PIB sector with this additional tonnage. We intend to develop new applications for Oppanol together with our partners in various industries,” said Leube.
BASF reported that there were no technical issues during the plant start-up process. “All of the tests were successful, and we knew from the first minute onward that we would be able to continue to produce Oppanol to specification just as before,” said Dr. Werner Bochnitschek, head of production in BASF’s Performance Chemicals for Automotive and Refinery Industry unit. “At the same time, the technical facilities are now available to extend capacity even further with relatively little investment if this is justified by increased demand from the market.”
This increase in production capacity will enhance the position of BASF’s comprehensive range of low, medium and high molecular weight grades of polyisobutene. BASF produces PIB in four plants in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Antwerp, Belgium. BASF produces both low molecular weight PIB (Glissopal®) as well as medium and high molecular weight PIB (Oppanol®). Both sets of products play an important role in a wide variety of applications, which range from fuel additives, lubricant additives, industrial lubricants and oil for two-stroke engines through to adhesives, sealants and chewing gum base.
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