Under a new deal, BASF is to produce cathode active materials (CAMs) from recycled metals from its site at Battle Creek, Michigan, for use in Li-ion battery cells produced by Nanotech Energy, a US specialist in graphene-based energy storage products. The two will also partner with American Battery Technology (ABTC), a Li-ion battery recycling company in Nevada, and Toda Advanced Materials, an Ontario firm which produces CAM precursors (pCAMs) and metal hydroxide material, to establish a battery value chain for the North American consumer electronics and automotive industries.
BASF has inaugurated the expansion of its Innovation Campus Shanghai. Originally opened in 2012 and twice updated through total investments of €280 million, the campus is BASF’s largest R&D site in Asia. The two new R&D buildings will house laboratories for:
* Process engineering, focusing on the formation and handling of solids and polymer recycling technologies
* Dispersions & resins, include robotic automation to test scrub resistance and tensile strength, and characterise coating film appearance
* Metal surface & industrial cleaning processes
Replique, a digital manufacturing start-up, has closed a late seed round led by digital technology investor STS Ventures and supported by ‘angel’ investors Chameleon and R3. The company claims to offer “the first fully encrypted 3D printing platform that makes spare part management and the production of small series more sustainable”.
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.
BASF has started up a new supercomputer at its Ludwigshafen verbund site in Germany. Like its predecessor, the new machine will be called Quriosity but will have three petaflops of computing power compared to 1.75. It will also be the largest supercomputer used in industrial chemical research.
BASF is to invest in a new citral plant at its verbund site in Zhanjiang, China. This will bring its global capacity to 118,000 tonnes/year when it comes onstream in 2026 onwards. The company is also expanding its downstream menthol and linalool plants at Ludwigshafen. This all comes in response to growing demand for aroma ingredients in the flavours and fragrances markets.
In its 2022 result presentation, BASF announced measures that are expected to yield cost savings of €500 million/year, mainly in Europe and about half of them at the largest verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. These will be implemented in 2023 and 2024, focusing mainly on the service, operational and R&D divisions and corporate functions. All this will lead to a net loss of about 2,600 jobs and a €200 million/year reduction in fixed costs by the end of 2026.