BASF Expands Antioxidants Capacity

BASF increased lubricant antioxidant capacity at its Puebla, Mexico, site to keep up with growing demand for additives that lengthen the life of lubricants, the company announced last week. The new capacity of the facility was not disclosed, but the company did say production began last quarter.

The purpose of the capacity expansion is to provide our customers with more product. Our customers in North America are projecting an increased demand for these antioxidants due to an increasing demand for lubricants with better high-temperature stability, Marius Vaarkamp, global marketing director of lubricant oil additives at BASF, told Lube Report.

The Puebla plant makes aminic antioxidants, a type of primary antioxidants, which inhibit oxidation by reacting with chain propagating free radicals to form stable molecules. Primary antioxidants, which also include phenolics, are distinct from secondary antioxidants, which act by decomposing peroxide radicals.

Aminics and phenolics are both ashless antioxidants that are increasingly being used in automotive lubricants to supplement zinc dithiophosphates, an effective group of antioxidants that costs less than the other varieties but that has come under restrictions because of impacts on emissions control technologies.

The Puebla, Mexico facility, which began production in 1965, services several industries including mining, aeronautics and automotive. Products developed in this plant supply Mexicos market and markets in Latin America, the United States, Europe and Asia, according to the plants website.

BASF also increased its lubricant antioxidant capacity in China by aligning with Feiya Chemical Co. for construction of a manufacturing facility that opened last quarter. That facility is also producing aminic antioxidants.