Ludwigshafen, Germany – BASF has signed a deal to gain long-term access to biobased 1,4-butanediol (BDO) from Qore, a joint venture between Cargill and Helm. Its downstream applications include the manufacture of polyurethanes for the CASE market.
Qore’s biobased raw material, sold under the brand name Qira, will be made at Cargill’s corn refining site in Eddyville, Iowa. The corn-derived BDO is made via the fermentation of sugars obtained from corn, and it will have the same quality and specifications as the traditional fossil-based chemical. BASF said this will allow it to make BDO derivatives that are also identical to their petrochemical-derived counterparts.
The deal will enable BASF to expand its portfolio of BDO derivatives by adding biobased variants of products such as the solvent THF, and polyTHF, which is used to make a TPU that is highly abrasion-resistant and elastic. This is particularly useful in the automotive sector, where it is used to make hoses, films and cable sheathing. It is also used in the manufacture of TPUs for skate wheels.
The first commercial quantities are expected to be available in early 2025. BASF has five plants that make polyTHF around the world.
“Qira is the perfect drop in product, enabling the industry to switch to more sustainable alternatives fast and seamless,” said Qore CEO Jon Veldhouse, CEO of Qore and continues: “By switching to Qira, the product carbon footprint can potentially be reduced by up to 86% compared to fossil-based BDO.”