“With the new plant, we are strengthening the BASF Verbund by ensuring an efficient supply of the key intermediate acetylene at our Ludwigshafen site. This will improve our competitiveness and support growth in the various acetylene value chains,” said Dr. Stefan Blank, president of the Intermediates division.
“As an important starting material for many BASF products at the Ludwigshafen site and for products produced by our customers, acetylene is very important to BASF. Integrating this plant within our Verbund approach offers advantages such as efficient use of resources, excellent production synergies and short supply routes. This will further enhance the long-term competitiveness of our Ludwigshafen site,” said Dr. Uwe Liebelt, head of the BASF Ludwigshafen Verbund site.
As a chemical component, acetylene has a diverse range of applications. It is an important starting material for many everyday products, including pharmaceuticals, plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and highly elastic textile fibers. BASF customers use these products in the automotive, pharma, construction, consumer goods and textiles industries. BASF has also operated an acetylene plant at its Verbund site in Geismar, LA, since 2000.
The production and processing of acetylene is closely connected with the name Walter Reppe (1892-1969), a BASF chemist who is considered the founder of modern acetylene chemistry. His goal was the large-scale use of acetylene for plastic production. Working towards this goal, he first found a way to work safely with the highly flammable and reactive acetylene gas under high pressure. Based on this, he conducted research in the 1930s on four fundamental chemical reactions with acetylene that can create a wide variety of chemical compounds.