Innovations in the segments – examples

Research and development expenses by segment 2017
Research and development expenses by segment (pie chart)


Our specialty monomers enable innovation in our customers’ downstream applications. These include a new application with tertiary butylacrylate (tBA) in decorative paints. tBA is primarily used as a functional component in water-based exterior paints. Our customers can use tBA to fomulate dispersions that improve the specific properties of their exterior paints – such as weathering and surface adhesion – without increasing production costs.

BASF’s constant stream of new ideas has secured its position as the technology leader and largest supplier of hydrosulfites for over 100 years. These bleaching and reducing agents are used in paper production, for example. The new Adlite®, a hydrosulfite for the paper industry, testifies to our innovative strength. Adlite® improves the entire paper production process and makes it more flexible. It enables our customers to achieve a higher degree of whiteness with the same raw materials and in this way, manufacture higher quality paper. At the same time, Adlite® saves energy and mitigates the impact on the environment, resulting in lower wastewater residues.

BASF is one of the leading global providers in the field of gas treatment. Our OASE® brand portfolio ranges from gas treatment agents to licenses for gas treatment processes and the planning of plants. We have further developed our business model and systematically expanded our service offering with the new OASE® connect online platform, which is particularly attractive for customers at remote locations. Special software enables them to find the optimum technical settings for their plants and manage them more efficiently, achieving energy savings of up to 20% in the form of electricity and steam and significantly reducing operating costs at the same plant output.

Performance Products

Acronal® 6292 is a new styrene acrylic binder that enables the production of more environmentally friendly scrub resistant interior wall paints. The polymer’s high pigment binding power also means that less binder is required to produce a scrub resistant paint. This offers a cost advantage for paint manufacturers. Acronal® 6292 can also be used to produce low-emission paints without biocides – preservatives needed to prevent bacterial growth in traditional water-based paints.

Fibroblasts are important cells in the skin, which contribute to skin regeneration. When they lose their vitality, the skin loses its resilience and elasticity. Dermagenist®, a marjoram leaf extract developed by BASF, restores the skin’s density and firmness. It inhibits the fibroblast ageing process and stimulates the cells to produce structural proteins in the connective tissue.

Pronovum is a new BASF technology in the area of omega-3 food supplements. Intake of Omega 3 can help improve consumers’ coronary and cognitive health. Independent studies have shown that the body processes omega-3 fatty acids formulated with Pronovum four times better than conventional, highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids in the form of the chemical compound ethyl ester. Pronovum is a patented mixture of omega-3 oils in a new formulation that can be accessed much better by digestive enzymes.

“Cool roofs” are more reflective and so do not heat up as much in direct sunlight. Roofing membranes made from thermoplastic polyolefins (TPO) are an energy-saving and cost-efficient solution here. BASF now offers new plastic additive systems that are customized for such TPO roof membrane applications. Combinations of the light stabilizers Chimassorb® and Tinuvin®, the antioxidants Irganox® and Irgafos® as well as customer-specific plastic additive mixtures with minimal dust formation protect TPO membranes from the damaging effects of sunlight, extending their lifetime by up to 30 years.

Functional Materials & Solutions

Formaldpure® is a new catalyst from BASF, which removes the pollutant formaldehyde at room temperature with high conversion efficiency. It is suitable for use in a wide range of portable and large-scale air purification equipment. Formaldehyde is used in the manufacture of building materials and household products, so it is found in homes and buildings as an indoor pollutant. BASF’s Formaldpure® is a thorough, long-life technology that removes formaldehyde from indoor environments and reduces the costs otherwise associated with frequent filter changes.

BASF’s MasterSeal 7000 CR waterproofing system protects concrete structures in wastewater and biogas plants exposed to high concentrations of chemicals such as sulfuric acid. MasterSeal 7000 CR bridges cracks in concrete to prevent penetration by aggressive substances. This prolongs the lifetime of concrete structures, contributes to sustainable water management and simultaneously reduces maintenance costs. MasterSeal 7000 CR is easy to work with and even adheres to humid substrates. The quick hardening time allows water contact only 24 hours after application, reducing downtimes – an important factor in wastewater management.

Thanks to the biomass balance method developed by BASF, we are able to flexibly replace fossil resources in our current Verbund system with sustainably generated bio-based raw materials by feeding biogas and bionaphtha directly into the value chain at the very beginning. The first biomass-balanced products have now been introduced in the area of automotive refinish coatings. The share of raw materials replaced by renewable raw materials in the Production Verbund is allocated to certain refinish coating products according to certified methods. Coatings in this category add ecological value by saving on fossil-based raw materials while maintaining their usual qualities.

The specialty polyamide Ultramid® Deep Gloss picks up on the trend toward higher quality and functionalized surfaces in car interiors. Ultramid® Deep Gloss is suitable for high gloss yet resistant components without the need for coating. It offers excellent resistance to scratching along with high chemical and good UV resistance. The material reproduces even the smallest structures true to detail, making haptic design elements and intuitive user interfaces possible – similar to a touchscreen. Demand for new operating concepts like this will continue to grow in the transition to autonomous driving. Ultramid® Deep Gloss also takes into account the automotive industry’s demands with respect to emissions and odor.

Agricultural Solutions

We are working with farmers around the globe to improve the quality and yield of their agricultural production while taking societal expectations and requirements into consideration. To achieve this, we constantly invest in our development pipeline in order to expand our portfolio both in and beyond conventional crop protection – such as in biological solutions. In 2017, we invested €507 million in research and development in the Crop Protection division, representing around 9% of sales for the segment.

Our well-stocked innovation pipeline comprises products with a launch date between 2017 and 2027. With a peak sales potential1 of €3.5 billion, the pipeline includes innovations from all business areas. The first market launches of Revysol®, our new fungicide, are scheduled for the 2019 growing season following registration with the relevant authorities. A new herbicide with a unique mode of action to control key weeds in cereal should come on the market in 2019. The market introduction of the new insecticide Inscalis® to combat piercing-sucking pests is planned for 2018. Another new insecticide, Broflanilide, which helps farmers control chewing insects like potato beetles and caterpillars in specialty and field crops, should be on the market from 2020. In Functional Crop Care, we are pushing ahead with the market introduction of Velondis®, for example, a biological fungicide for seed treatment. This is planned for 2018.

Digital innovations are also a key focus in the Crop Protection division. One example from digital agriculture is the online platform Maglis® that was launched in 2016, which offers farmers agronomic information and combines this with IT solutions and expertise from BASF. Maglis® is used by farmers worldwide – and we are constantly enhancing it. We are already testing new applications such as the automated diagnosis of plant diseases based on photo analysis.

Oil & Gas

The Wintershall Group concentrates its innovation-related activities on improving the success rate of exploration, developing technologies for reservoirs with challenging development and production conditions, and increasing the recovery factor of reservoirs.

Wintershall is working on the development of heat-resistant and salt-tolerant surfactants together with the Performance Chemicals division. These substances are used in enhanced oil recovery to mobilize the oil trapped in the pores of the rock. Conventional surfactants often cannot be used because of the high temperatures and high salt concentrations of many reservoirs, especially in regions such as the Middle East, North Africa or in the North Sea. The research project is currently in the laboratory phase.