BASF and Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd. sign joint development agreement on energy efficiency in the polymer manufacturing
・Efficacy of microwave technology and innovative production process verified
・Agreement to explore application of microwave technology on a technical scale; using world’s first technical
scale continuous-flow microwave reactor
Tokyo, Japan – October 14, 2014 – BASF and Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd. (MWCC), a company launched by Osaka University, have signed a joint development agreement to explore the application of microwave technology to improve energy efficiency in the polymer product manufacturing process on a technical scale.
“Compared to conventional manufacturing methods, where chemical raw materials are heated from the outside, the microwave approach improves efficiency of chemical reactions and, saves energy,” said Iwao Yoshino, Chairman and CEO of MWCC. “Microwaves can influence, improve and accelerate chemical reactions by causing the molecules to oscillate through electromagnetic waves, directly heating the materials from the inside – similar to household microwave ovens,”
“Our collaboration with MWCC will determine the feasibility of the application of the microwave technology on a technical scale to enable an energy efficient production process to provide a sustainable solution for the polymer product manufacturing industry. Upon positive testing of the technology on a technical scale, we will aim to proceed for commercial application,” said Dr. Ates Erk, Head of New Markets and Products, Performance Materials Asia Pacific, BASF.
As part of the joint development agreement, testing will be conducted using the world’s first technical scale continuous-flow microwave reactor in the field of polymers. The reactor has an annual processing capacity of 1,000 metric tons. MWCC has already started experiments and process development at their Osaka site.
About Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd.
Established in 2007, MWCC utilizes the unique platform technology it has developed in undertakings to make practical application of energy-saving, highly-efficient and compact microwave technology to revolutionize chemical and energy industries that consume large amounts of energy and require vast sites. In polymer field, the experiments conducted so far at MWCC have demonstrated a 50% reduction in energy consumption compared to conventional methods for several reaction classes.To resolve problems with chemical reactions that cannot be resolved using conventional technologies, MWCC not only provides technical licenses, but also offers integrated total solutions that from basic development through to the design, operation and engineering of bench scale and pilot plants and implements the management of joint enterprises through joint ventures with strategic partners for each product application and field. MWCC has already industrialized its microwave chemical technology and delivers fatty acid butyl ester produced at its Osaka factory to major chemical manufacturers.
About BASF’s Performance Materials Division
BASF’s Performance Materials division encompasses the entire materials know-how of BASF regarding innovative, customized plastics under one roof. Globally active in four major industry sectors - transportation, construction, industrial applications and consumer goods – the division has a strong portfolio of products and services combined with a deep understanding of application-oriented system solutions. Key drivers of profitability and growth are close collaboration with customers and a clear focus on solutions. Strong capabilities in R&D provide the basis to come up with innovative products and applications. In 2013, the Performance Materials division achieved global sales of € 6.5 bn.
At BASF, we create chemistry – and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world’s leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of about €74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.