A new world-scale bio-acrylamide (BioACM) production facility at BASF’s site in Bradford was opened today by the city’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Joanne Dodds. This major investment will help to ensure the long term future of one of the UK’s largest chemical manufacturing facilities, which employs around 600 people.
Bradford is a BASF production hub for polyacrylamides, used as water-soluble flocculation aids in industrial and municipal wastewater treatment, enhanced oil recovery, mineral processing and papermaking.
Guests at the event included local MP Judith Cummins and representatives from the Chemical Industries Association, UK Trade & Investment and Innovate UK.
Christian Fischer, President of BASF’s Performance Chemicals division, emphasized that BioACM is a core project in BASF’s global polyacrylamide strategy and essential for the success of the Bradford site. “With the start-up of the BioACM plant at Bradford we will increase our operational efficiency and supply reliability for polyacrylamide whilst securing the location where we have a long history and strong relationships.”
The development of a biocatalytic manufacturing process for acrylamide started in Bradford with a collaboration with Huddersfield University. Subsequent work by scientists from Britain, Germany, South Africa and the United States, made significant improvements to the performance of the biocatalyzed conversion technology.
In 2014, BASF commissioned its first bio-acrylamide plant in the United States, in Suffolk, Virginia. The new production plant in Bradford adds to BASF’s bio-acrylamide capacity globally. BASF will further pursue its activities within the extension of BioACM technology worldwide and is actively investigating potential BioACM projects at other locations including Asia Pacific.
The enzymatic process for producing acrylamide, a key monomer in the production of polyacrylamide, consumes less energy, produces less waste, and makes a better product. It operates at ambient temperature and normal atmospheric pressure and generates fewer interfering byproducts so downstream processing is easier.
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