Innovations based on effective and efficient research and development are an important growth engine for BASF. Our employees work in interdisciplinary teams on innovative processes and products for a sustainable future. This is how BASF ensures the long-term research and business success with chemistry-based solutions for almost all sectors of industry. BASF´s research pipeline comprised approximately 3,000 projects in 2015 and about €1,953 million have been spent on research. Our global network with more than 600 excellent universities, research institutes and companies is an important part of our Know-How Verbund. We collaborate with them in order to achieve our growth targets.The first part of this talk will focus on an overview of the research organization, including BASF’s internal as well as external research activities.
The second part of the talk gives examples of novel and innovative catalytic processes to show how catalysis can drive sustainable solutions. Chemical industry has the responsibility to deal with future trends as improved air and drinking water quality, process & energy efficiency, and urban living. Key for success is the profound knowledge about the demands and needs of a growing population and translating those into novel chemical products or processes. One important factor is catalysis as it helps to reduce both waste and energy consumption. As an example of an improved process, synthesis of propylene oxide will be discussed. In the 1930, the chlorohydrin process was state of the art and for each ton of propylene oxide tons of calcium chloride have been formed as byproduct. Thanks to the discovery of a titanium containing zeolite, only water is formed as a byproduct, as the zeolite facilitates the selective oxidation of propylene with hydrogen peroxide. At the same time, the catalytic process saves about 30% of the energy and 70% of the water used for non-catalyzed processes.