Global Home


BASF’s Catalysts division is the world’s leading supplier of process catalysts and offers exceptional expertise in the development of hydrogenation catalysts for a large variety of industry applications from refining, oil and gas to olechemicals and pharma applicatoins. By leveraging its industry-leading research and development (R&D) platforms, passion for innovation and deep knowledge of chemistry, BASF’s Catalysts division develops unique, proprietary catalysts that drive customer success on a sustainable foundation. 



Reduce the cost-of-fill and CO2 footprint: High activity despite reduced precious metal in reactors with our highly efficient low-density precious metal catalyst.

BASF developed a new process to enable access to mechanically stable and uniform ultra low-density Al2O3 spheres. These alumina spheres are manufactured on a dedicated production line at our plant in Germany. The low-density  Al2O3 spheres serve as a versatile platform for precious metal hydrogenation catalysts. Especially its usage in applications as C3 selective hydrogenation, C4 selective hydrogenation and selective hydrogenation of pyrolysis gasoline have been successfully proven, but do not limit the use of this new catalyst series.

The low-density catalysts with its high metal efficiency minimize the precious metal investment significantly. These reduced active mass in the reactor is compensated by an enhanced hydrogenation activity. Special egg-shell coating techniques liberate a high number of precious metal clusters to the surface and provide contact to the processed feed.


With the new low-density catalyst family, we are improving the efficiency of the active precious metal content in the reactors of our customers.

  • Low density Al2O3 carriers produced in Germany as a versatile and powerful platform for precious metal catalysts
  • Maximum utilization of precious metal due to enhanced activity by defined egg-shell coating
  • Outstanding activity, high crush strength, and low attrition values
  • Economical and ecological improvement for all units
innovation Page Picture 1.png

Improved catalyst resistance & lifetime: Be able to process less pure feedstocks with BASFs sulfur resistant catalyst family.

BASFs innovative sulfur resistant catalyst family was developed to enable our customers to hydrogenate demanding feedstocks containing high sulfur impurities. BASF investigated the nature of sulfur components and the interaction with conventional palladium-based hydrogenation catalysts. Based on our findings we developed a specialized catalyst formulation and preparation method to increase the tolerance for high amounts of sulfur and therefore maximize the life-time of the precious metal catalysts in less pure feedstocks. This enables customers to get the most out of their precious metal and accordingly keep it at the lowest level and save costs.

The need to process feedstocks with higher amounts of impurities is increasing due to high costs for or availability of pure feedstock on the market. BASFs strong R&D developed a specialized catalyst solution, which allows hydrogenation of feedstocks with high sulfur content without additional investment into costly palladium.

  • Need to process impure feedstock is increasing
  • Sulfur impurities are the main challenge, especially for pyrolysis gasoline hydrogenation
  • Its high sulfur content shorten cycle- and lifetime of conventional palladium catalysts
  • BASFs R&D developed a specialized new carrier system suitable to process high demanding feedstocks without additional investment into precious metal
  • Commercial references available
innovation Page Picture 2.png

Together with our partners from the INCOE network, BASF has recently developed a novel, sustainable route to synthesize zeolites. Our groundbreaking proprietary approach allows us to produce zeolites such as beta, chabazite, levynite and mordenite without the use of organic templates. The result are materials with unprecedented properties and reduced environmental footprint. For the first time, zeolites with higher aluminum content and unique acid site structure are accessible, which leads to higher surface acidity and a boost in catalytic performance that is unattainable with conventional synthesis routes. Beta zeolite is a good example. It’s a well-known large pore zeolite with a three-dimensional pore system whose catalytic performance can now be enhanced to further upgrade its effectiveness in large-scale refinery and petrochemical processes such as (hydro)cracking, (hydro)isomerization and alkylation. Our new organotemplate-free beta zeolites also show a lot of promise for the treatment of industrial off-gases (NOx, VOC) and mobile emissions (DeNOx).

BASF owns the following patents on organotemplate-free zeolite technology: US8865121 (B2), US9011815 (B2), US9181145 (B2), US8710271 (B2).

BASF is committed to the development of sustainable breakthrough technologies. Organotemplate-free zeolites are a pioneering solution that helps reduce environmental footprint and lower CO2 emissions.

  • The optimized catalyst performance of our new zeolites helps save resources and decreases CO2 emissions from operations
  • We eliminate direct and indirect CO2 emissions from zeolite synthesis by omitting energy intense high-temperature calcination and decomposition of an organotemplate
  • Our advanced crystallization technology further reduces indirect CO2 emissions
  • Reduced requirements for waste-water treatment
innovation Page Picture 3.png

BASF H2O2 Catalyst 2020.png
BASF NanoSelect Pd catalysts are specifically designed to be a lead-free replacement for Lindlar catalysts. The catalysts can be used in any typical application where Lindlar catalysts are used, like alkyne to cis-alkene hydrogenation, or conjugated enyne to conjugated diene.
  • The first lead-free alternatives for the famous Lindlar catalyst. 
  • The activity is significantly higher compared to Lindlar catalysts allowing the metal loading into the reactor to be reduced by 90% while maintaining similar activity and selectivity as Lindlar catalysts. 
  • The catalysts deliver significant cost-savings due to a tenfold lower requirement of palladium. 
BASF NanoSelect Pt catalysts are specifically designed for aromatic nitro group reductions. They can be applied specifically in reactions where e.g. dehalogenation should not take place.
  • Excellent activity in nitro group reduction, preventing dehalogenation from taking place and at the same time no hydroxylamine is build up in the process. 
  • As the metal crystallite size has been optimized for this specific reaction, the metal loading into the reactor can significantly be decreased.
  •  Typically 25 to 40% less platinum can be used while maintaining similar activity as commonly used sulfided or vanadium-promoted platinum on carbon catalysts.

Collaborating with BASF's Catalyst R&D

Chemical reactions require chemical catalysts. As the global leader in chemical process catalysts, we act through continuous collaborative partnerships with our clients.

Customers benefit from BASF’s integrated approach which is based on a feedback loop concept to address all essential aspects during development or improvement of a catalystBASF’s laboratories and pilot units are set up to cover all aspects of catalyst recipe formulation, optimization and scale-up and by this enable meaningful test work.

Latest-generation reactor technology and analytical tools are both applied to monitor reaction performance as well as to analyze fresh and spent catalyst samples. Our catalyst evaluation facilities are equipped to use reactants from customer plants to create realistic scenarios for catalyst screening and long-term testing. In this way, we ensure fast turnaround and quick identification of promising catalyst compositions. Thanks to the close interaction with BASF's catalyst manufacturing, new laboratory findings can be rapidly transferred to production scale.