Ludwigshafen, Germany – BASF intends to expand the production capacity for methane sulfonic acid (MSA) at its Ludwigshafen site by around 65 percent and increase the global capacity to 50,000 metric tons per year. With the investment the company further strengthens its position as the leading global producer of MSA. The volumes from the additional capacity are expected to be available late in 2021 for customers in all regions.
“The demand for MSA increased strongly across industries. This expansion will allow us to support the rapid growth of our customers, especially in Asia. Beyond the increase in Ludwigshafen, we evaluate investment options outside of Europe to continuously expand our MSA capacities,” says Martin Widmann, Global Strategic Marketing and Development, Care Chemicals division at BASF. “We focus our extensive know-how and highly efficient manufacturing processes on our customers’ needs to enhance their applications’ performance, sustainability and efficacy."
Sustainable alternative to conventional acids
Methane sulfonic acid is a strong organic acid used in numerous applications ranging from chemical and biofuel synthesis to industrial cleaning and metal surface treatment in the electronics industry. The expansion is in line with the trend for top-performance and at the same time environmentally friendly technologies in various industries. BASF’s proprietary process enables the production of Lutropur® MSA – a high-purity methane sulfonic acid. Lutropur MSA is a sustainable alternative to other acids such as sulfuric, phosphoric or acetic acid. As part of the natural sulfur cycle MSA is readily biodegradable. Further benefits in practical applications come, for example, from its nonoxidizing nature, the high solubility of its salts and the absence of color and odor.
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