Adhesives Magazine

Focus On<br>BASF Expands PIB Production Capacity

June 2, 2003
BASF has expanded production capacity by 10,000 metric tons per year for its medium-molecular-weight polyisobutylene manufacturing plant in Germany ...

The new BASF medium-molecular-weight Oppanol PIB production plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
To meet increased market demand, BASF has expanded production capacity by 10,000 metric tons per year for its medium-molecular-weight polyisobutylene (PIB) manufacturing plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The new plant became operational in the third quarter of 2002, bringing overall BASF capacity for medium- and high-molecular-weight PIB to 16,000 metric tons per year.

Depending on the molecular weight, PIB has a broad range of properties and can be used in a multitude of applications. Marketed by BASF under the trade name Oppanol, the PIB product line is used in a variety of products. Oppanols are components of adhesives, sealants and chewing gums. They can function as drag reducers and are used to produce impermeable roofing membranes with unique performance characteristics. They can also be used to protect optical fibers without interfering with their light transmission.

A Flexible, Customer-Focused Facility

The expanded production facility is advanced, flexible and customer-focused. Its design allows additional capacity expansions to be implemented with only minor investment, allowing BASF to respond quickly to further increases in customer demand.

The new plant employs BASF-developed technology that has been successfully used to produce low-molecular-weight, highly reactive PIB at the company’s Antwerp, Belgium, site. BASF’s extensive PIB experience enables it to produce a chlorine-free product, minimizing potential corrosion problems during further processing.

The middle-molecular-weight PIB produced in the new plant contains very low amounts of solvent and oligomer residue due to an advanced, high-efficiency work-up process. As a result, Oppanols have one of the lowest solvent (below 300 ppm) and oligomer contents of any medium-molecular-weight PIB on the market. The flexibility of BASF’s Oppanol manufacturing operation allows production of customized products that can be tailored to specific customer applications.

Different packaging options ensure that BASF customers use Oppanol more efficiently, conveniently and safely. Unlike alternative medium-molecular-weight PIB available only in drums, BASF Oppanol can be ordered either in 100-lb drums or in 44-lb boxes. Drums can be used for large-volume product batches and are suitable for automated unloading. Boxes can be used for small-volume batch production and help improve the safety of manual handling.

*OPPANOL is a registered trademark of BASF Aktiengeselschaft.

For more information:

For further information contact 800-443-6460 or e-mail Oppanol@basf.com. Free samples are available upon request.