BASF Adds Alkylethanolamines Plant

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BASF Adds Alkylethanolamines Plant
A CNC milling machine cuts mold parts as metalworking fluid is applied. © Umomos

BASF will build a new world-scale production plant for alkylethanolamines at its Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium, with start-up planned in 2024, the company announced on March 1. Applications include in additives for metalworking fluids.

The company said the project will increase its global annual production capacity of its alkyethanolamines portfolio by nearly 30% to more than 140,000 metric tons per year.

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The company’s portfolio includes dimethylethanolamines, known as DMEOA, and methyldiethanolamines, known as MDEO. In metalworking fluids, MDEOA is used both as a pH buffer as well as an anticorrosion additive, according to BASF’s products guide.

The company has production facilities for the portfolio at its sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Antwerp; Geismar, Louisiana in the United States; and Nanjing, China.

“We see a continuing, growing demand for alkylethanolamines in a broad range of industries such as water treatment, detergents and gas treatment over the next years,” Frank Stein, head of the regional business unit Europe of BASF’s Intermediates division, said in a press release.

Ethanolamines are intermediates used in manufacturing of lubricants – including corrosion inhibitors for metal protection – and surfactants, among other products. In addition to additives for metalworking fluids, other applications for alkylethanolamines include gas treatment, fabric softeners and in additives for metalworking fluids and polyurethanes.

Their main use is in precursors for flocculants applied in water treatment and in the coatings industry where they act as binders between pigments and resins. Flocculation is a method used to harvest large volumes of microalgae culture.