BASF builds new plant for Citral

BASF is building a new production plant for the fine chemical intermediate Citral with an annual capacity of 40,000 metric tons. The plant is scheduled to come on stream in 2004. The world-scale plant will replace the existing Citral plant, which has a capacity of 10,000 metric tons per year. The capacity expansion will make Citral the production platform for Vitamin A and Vitamin E, carotenoids and an expanded range of aroma chemicals.
The expansion of Citral production in Ludwigshafen is an important element in the 600 million Euro investment program launched by BASF to expand its market position in fine chemicals in order to generate profitable growth in this business.
Through this investment program capacity expansion for vitamine E to 20,000 metric tons per year in Ludwigshafen and the construction of a plant for producing an annual 3,000 metric tons of vitamin B2 in Gunsan, Korea, have begun.
The Citral synthesis is integrated backwards to the steam cracker within the Verbund at the Ludwigshafen site of BASF. The current production process was developed by BASF. The plant and the subsequent production stages for vitamin and aroma chemical production will use numerous, innovative processes and catalyst systems developed by BASF researchers in recent years.
The investment project reflects the company’s response to the increasing demand for high-quality products in animal nutrition, food production and innovative cosmetics. The world vitamin market is valued at 2.5 billion Euro. BASF has a 25 percent share of the global market. Alongside vitamins, the aroma chemicals business will also benefit from the investment. Citral will increasingly be used in the future as a raw material for a series of aroma chemicals used by the fragrance and flavor industry in the manufacture of perfume oils and flavorings. BASF wants to further improve its good market position in this segment by expanding the production of Citral and its derivatives.

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