BASF boosts polyisobutene production amid rising demand
Photo courtesy of BASF

BASF boosts polyisobutene production amid rising demand

BASF, a global leader in chemical production based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, has announced a 25% increase in its production capacity for medium-molecular weight polyisobutenes (PIB) at its Ludwigshafen site. This move is in response to the escalating global demand for high-quality polyisobutenes, the company said.

Polyisobutenes, marketed under the trade name OPPANOL® B, are key performance components for a wide array of applications across various industries, including automotive, construction, electronics, and food packaging. Applications, for example, may include surface protective films, window sealants, binder material for batteries and food packaging solutions.

PIB is primarily used as an additive in lubricating oils. Medium-molecular weight polyisobutenes are are often used as viscosity modifiers and tackifiers in lubricating oils. These polyisobutenes help improve the performance of the lubricant by enhancing its viscosity, which in turn improves the lubricant’s ability to reduce friction and wear in machinery and engines.

Lena Adam, senior vice president, Fuel and Lubricant Solutions, BASF SE, stated that this expansion strengthens BASF’s position as a reliable supplier that supports the growth and demanding requirements of customers across industries.

“Building on our backward integration into key raw materials we will be leveraging the full strength of BASF as a global leader in polyisobutene,” explained Dr. Tanja Rost, vice president, Global Marketing and Product Development, Fuel and Lubricant Solutions, BASF SE.

The additional production capacity will enable customers to innovate and contribute to sustainable development, such as in energy-efficient housing. The expansion is expected to be fully operational by the first half of 2025.