BASF launches K 2013
In addition to Baxxodur epoxy resin systems that speed up rotor blade manufacturing processes by as much as 30% and the structural foam Kerdyn based on polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which adds stability in rotor blade interiors, BASF also supplies coating systems for rotor blades and towers, special grouting mortars and concrete additives for foundations and towers and lubricants for wind turbine gearboxes.
The increasing use of biopolymers presents another growth market. BASF plans to expand its business in this area. "We are currently stepping up research into a biodegradable, primarily biobased foam with properties similar to those of polystyrene foam for use as packaging for food and electric and electronic goods," said Brudermüller.
To respond more effectively in future to customer interest in biobased materials, BASF, working in cooperation with TÜV SÜD, has developed an innovative mass balance approach for flexible use of renewable feedstock in the Production Verbund. Using this approach, biomass is already being employed as a raw material in the manufacture of basic products in existing plants. This biomass share is allocated to selected products using a certified methodology. "The product certified by TÜV SÜD as using renewable raw materials is chemically identical to its conventional fossil-based product. Therefore there are no differences in quality, and existing licenses apply. Since there is no need to build new plants, this innovative method makes a contribution to sustainability," said Brudermüller.
The main driver of profitable growth is innovation. BASF's spending on research and development hit another record high of €1.7 billion in 2012. "We will create key future innovations not only with new polymers but, above all, with novel functional materials and system solutions. BASF has an excellent technology and skills portfolio in polymers and additives that we have enhanced even further by the Ciba and Cognis acquisitions," said Brudermüller. BASF has combined its polymer and additives research in a single technology platform and developed it into the division Advanced Materials & Systems Research.