Fossil loves modern

Fossil fuels are the basis for a number of products that have become indispensable in our modern society, such as the plastics or coatings that can be found in buildings.

We transform these raw materials so they can be used for a wide range of products. With our expertise in operating highly-complex steam crackers, we are a global leader.  When fossils liven up modern society, it’s because at BASF, we create chemistry. 

BASF’s Cracker Products

Cracker products are the building blocks of the chemical industry and the starting materials for numerous processing industries.

These basic products for the processing industry are used in end products that help to meet demand for clothing, food, housing and mobility as well as medication and personal care items. BASF produces the full range of cracker products, from ethylene and propylene to butadiene, butene and benzene.

The steam cracker in Port Arthur, Texas transforms crude oil and natural gas into chemical building blocks for many consumer and industrial goods.
Print free of charge. Copyright by BASF.

Der Steamcracker in Port Arthur, Texas, wandelt Rohöl und Rohbenzin in chemische Bausteine für Hersteller und Industriegüter.
Abdruck honorarfrei. Copyright by BASF.

Light Olefins

Ethylene is used primarily to manufacture polyethylene, ethylene chloride and ethylene oxide. These products are very useful for the packaging, plastic processing, construction and textile industry, to name just a few examples.

Most propylene is used to make polypropylene, but it is also a basic product necessary to produce propylene oxide, acrylic acid and many other chemical derivatives. Not only plastic processing, the packaging industry and the furnishing sector, but also the automotive industry are users of propylene and its derivatives. 

Ricky Bolyard (links) und Samantha Briggs (rechts), beide Prozesstechniker, führen einen Kontrollgang durch in der Olefinanlage in Port Arthur, Texas.

C4 Products

Crude C4 – a gas mixture comprising of C4 olefins – is produced in the steam cracker; using a proprietary BASF extraction process, it is then separated into butadiene and isobutene. The residue, a mixture of butene and butanes, is then mainly used internally in BASF's value chains.

Butadiene is a key raw material for the production of e.g. tires, paper and plastics.

Mit 10 Quadratkilometern Werksgelände im Herzen Europas ist der Verbundstandort Ludwigshafen das größte zusammenhängende Chemieareal der Welt. Ein dichtes Netzwerk von rund 200 Produktionsanlagen bietet besonders gute Voraussetzungen für das Herstellen komplexer und hochveredelter Produkte. Als Technologieplattform und Kompetenzzentrum für die BASF Gruppe ist der Standort eine wichtige Quelle für Innovationen bei Produkten, Methoden und Verfahren.

BASF Verbund: good availability and flexibility

BASF operates five steam crackers worldwide, providing raw materials to the plants at the site. The Verbund structure at large sites intelligently links production facilities, energy flows, logistics and infrastructure – providing clear advantages for BASF customers and partners when it comes to availability and flexibility. 

Strong forward integration

BASF focuses on strong forward integration in higher-value products – starting from the raw material naphtha, these are based on the ethylene, propylene and C4 value chains. As a result, BASF can consistently supply a diverse portfolio of cracker products. This enables the processing industry to meet the ever-changing demands of the market and deliver intelligent solutions based on our diverse product range.

Global presence

In accordance with the principle “local production for local consumption”, we primarily serve our customers from nearby production facilities. We can offer this service worldwide because BASF produces cracker products around the globe. In order to be able to do this in the future as well, BASF is constantly investing in building and expanding production plants and petrochemical complexes, especially in growth regions.

We also have a global network of BASF experts who are always working on ways to optimize production processes and technologies – for sustainability and to reliably supply basic chemicals to industrial customers.