Segment Profile

The Materials segment is composed of the Performance Materials division and the Monomers division. The Materials segment’s portfolio comprises advanced materials and their precursors for new applications and systems. These include isocyanates and polyamides as well as inorganic basic products and specialties for the plastics and plastics processing industries. We want to focus primarily on organic growth through differentiation via specific technological expertise, industry know-how and customer proximity to maximize value in the isocyanate and polyamide value chains.


Performance Materials

Polyurethanes, thermoplastics and foam specialties for sectors such as the transportation, construction and consumer goods industries, as well as for industrial applications


Isocyanates and polyamides as well as inorganic basic products and specialties for sectors such as the plastics, automotive and construction industries


Materials – Sales (pie chart)
Factors influencing sales
Materials – Factors influencing sales (bar chart)
Income from operations before special items

Million €

Materials – Income from operations before special items (bar chart)

How we create value – an example

Adipic acid
More sustainable adipic acid production in Ludwigshafen reduces carbon footprint

Value for the environment

CO2 avoided per year

100,000 metric tons

Value for BASF

Annual production volume

720,000 metric tons

The synthesis of adipic acid is a very complex process in which nitrous oxide is produced. BASF re-uses the nitrous oxide in the Verbund instead of decomposing it, as is usual in the chemicals industry. Most of the nitrous oxide is isolated and used as a feedstock in the Intermediates division. BASF avoids 100,000 metric tons of CO2 per year through investments in our production plants and the strength of our Verbund in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The carbon footprint can be further reduced with additional measures such as using the mass balance approach, electricity from renewable sources and the ChemCycling™ method.

Adipic acid is a monomer used in the production of polyamides and polyesters. It is also used as a chemical intermediate, for example to produce plastics for the automotive industry. BASF produces around 720,000 metric tons of adipic acid per year at its sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Chalampé, France; and Onsan, South Korea.

Adipic acid – More sustainable adipic acid production in Ludwigshafen reduces carbon footprint (Photo)


  • Industry-leading portfolio of high-performance materials and their precursors, leveraging two integrated value chains
  • Differentiated products and solutions for the automotive, construction and consumer goods industries

The Materials segment provides a toolbox of high-performance materials that is unique in the industry. Our major integrated isocyanate and polyamide value chains are complemented by a number of specialties for the plastics and plastics processing industries. The Materials segment offers specially developed polymers and solutions to customer industries such as automotive, construction, electrical and electronics, and consumer goods.

We cater to the growing needs of consumers in all key markets by developing new applications, high-performance materials, systems and digital solutions. Application know-how, industry knowledge and customer proximity are key differentiators. BASF’s competence in this field is extended by advanced material simulation capabilities, which are a unique selling proposition in the industry.

Additional differentiators, which continue to gain importance, are our products that enable a circular economy and our sustainable production approaches. BASF plays a vital role in substantial parts of plastic value chains, from monomers to polymers and their formulated specialties. This offers us the unique opportunity to shape and close cycles with our technological capabilities. One example is a recent development of a chemical recycling process for used mattresses.

Differentiated service and product offerings enable us to continuously expand the application horizon of our portfolio. The segment’s global production network allows us to operate close to our customers.

On January 31, 2020, BASF closed the acquisition of Solvay’s integrated polyamide business, which was agreed in September 2017. The transaction broadens BASF’s polyamide capabilities, allowing us to support our customers with even better engineering plastics solutions for applications such as autonomous driving and e-mobility. It also enhances access to growth markets in Asia as well as in North and South America. Through the backward integration into the key raw material adiponitrile (ADN), BASF now has production plants along the entire value chain for polyamide 6.6. At closing, approximately 700 Solvay employees joined BASF.

In May 2020, BASF started construction of the first plants at its smart Verbund site in Zhanjiang in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. This came as another milestone in the development of the company’s investment project since its official commencement in November 2019. The plants will produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to serve the increasing needs of various growth industries in the southern China market and in other Asian markets.