BASF’s headquarters, Ludwigshafen, Germany

BASF’s headquarters, Ludwigshafen, Germany

BASF’s superabsorbent vision

The company’s product has an innovative built-in liquid distribution mechanism that makes it a superabsorbent

January 2015

BASF has announced plans for a major investment in a pioneering superabsorbent technology platform of its hygiene business. BASF will invest up to €500 million ($625 million) over the next two to three years to establish droplet polymerisation capacities worldwide by revamping existing plants. The rollout of the new technology underlines BASF’s technology leadership and leading position in the market for superabsorbent polymers.

Superabsorbent polymers are polymers that can absorb and retain extremely large amounts of liquid relative to their own mass. They are used as a main component in baby diapers, incontinence products and feminine hygiene products. BASF researchers have worked intensively in the last decade to develop a new technology and optimise the corresponding production processes. BASF will launch a new generation of highly innovative superabsorbent polymers under the trademark Saviva. The launch is scheduled sequentially, starting end of 2016.

Based on its round-shaped particles with micro-pores, Saviva has an innovative liquid distribution mechanism, making it a highly efficient superabsorbent polymer in a diaper core. It has been tested comprehensively in laboratories, in diaper prototypes and with end consumers in home-use tests, confirming its outstanding properties and its performance in diapers. Selected customers have already given positive feedback.

“To launch this breakthrough innovation in a fast and efficient way, BASF has developed a revamp strategy. In order to keep time-to-market as short as possible, BASF will extend and modify already existing production sites,” said Michael Heinz, member of the board of executive directors, BASF SE. Existing facilities will in future be able to produce both Saviva and the current product HySorb.

The first wave of revamping existing plants will be kicked off in Europe, closely followed by plants in Asia and the Americas. This underlines the business approach BASF is taking, investing close to its customers and providing a global footprint for a reliable, global supply.

“The outstanding absorption performance and soft feel of Saviva offer an innovation platform for the development of new hygiene solutions. It is a highly efficient enabler for future generations of diaper designs, offering a new level of comfort and dryness,” said Teressa Szelest, senior vice president of the Global Hygiene Business, BASF SE. With its unique properties and efficiency Saviva is making a contribution to sustainability in terms of weight reduction of diapers and also addresses the needs of a changing social environment.

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