BASF has completed the construction of a production plant for high-purity methanesulfonic acid, a chemical widely used in the chemical industry and in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals. The company claims it is now the world's leading supplier of high-purity MSA.
The construction of the plant has taken 20 months to complete and will produce MSA using a proprietary process developed by BASF, with an annual capacity of 10,000 metric tonnes per year. The company sells MSA under the Lutropur trade name and estimates that the market for the chemical will grow at an annual rate of around 10 per cent.
In keeping with BASF's commitment to more environmentally-friendly operations, the company's production process for MSA runs almost without emissions. The plant is supplied with raw materials from other parts of BASF's chemicals production, and by-products are processed in a neighbouring sulphuric acid plant at the firm's Ludwigshafen facility.
"On account of the production process, BASF is able to provide a product which is practically free of metal ions and which is colourless and odourless," said the company in a statement. This means that customers will be able to use the MSA without additional, costly pre-treatments, it added.