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BASF expands worldwide in surfactants

BASF has announced plans to boost its global capacity for alkyl polyglucosides (APGs) by expanding its sites in Bangpakong, Thailand, and Cincinnati, Ohio, just as it also adding alkoxylation capacities in Antwerp and Ludwigshafen (pictured). Both investments are within the Care Chemicals division.

Additional capacities are expected to come onstream at the Thai and US sites in 2025. No volume details were given but BASF said that by expanding both in parallel, it “can strengthen its position and serve customers even faster and more flexible from the regional supply points, while at the same time reducing cross-regional volume flows”.

APGs are biobased, readily biodegradable, mild secondary surfactants, wholly derived from natural and renewable feedstocks. They are non-ionic and can be co-formulated with other surfactants in uses such as home and personal care, industrial and institutional (I&I) cleaning and agrochemicals. BASF is the only North American producer. It also has sites in Germany and China.

Starting up new ethylene oxide and derivatives capabilities will add over 150,000 tonnes/year to European alkoxylation capacity. The reasons cited were additional flexibility and security of supply, as well as increasing demand. BASF is also investing in a world-scale ethylene oxide production line, including high-purity capacity.

Alkoxylation is used to produce surfactants for the home care industry and I&I cleaning applications, while alkoxylates are also used in technical applications for industrial solutions. These include materials for superplasticisers, emulsifiers for emulsion polymerisation, and additives for crop protection products and polyurethane foams.

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