Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / BASF PolyTHF celebrates 25 years in fibre supply
BASF PolyTHF celebrates 25 years in fibre supply
Sep '08
Twenty-five years ago, in September 1983, BASF brought its first plant for the production of polytetrahydrofuran on line at its “Verbund” site in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

The product is now marketed under the name PolyTHF throughout the world. With a nameplate capacity of altogether 4,000 tons per year the first plant was the launch pad for a remarkable success story.

Now with an aggregate capacity of 185,000 tons and a world-spanning network of production plants, BASF is globally the most important supplier of this multifaceted intermediate.

Driven by growing demand for PolyTHF, a second plant was built in Ludwigshafen and started operations in 1995. It had to be expanded in 2002. At the same time BASF was building added capacities close to Asian and NAFTA customers.

Beginning in 1987 the company began supplying customers from a plant in Geismar in the U.S. state of Louisiana, while Asian customers started receiving PolyTHF from the Ulsan site in South Korea as of 1998.

The newest chapter in the annals of success is the PolyTHF plant at the Caojing production base near Shanghai. Since becoming operational in early 2005 the plant has mainly supplied customers in Asia, now not only the largest PolyTHF market, but also the fastest growing.

“For us, PolyTHF is a core business. In keeping with our practice for the past 25 years, we will therefore continue to be a reliable partner in support of our worldwide PolyTHF customer base,” declared Dr. Beate Ehle, president of BASF's Operating Division Intermediates.

Not only are the world's most important Spandex and Elastan fiber manufacturers customers, but also a constantly growing number of smaller producers in Asia. Ehle added: “Together with our customers we keep working on innovative fibers for the future.”

PolyTHF is a typical “Verbund” product:
The success of PolyTHF is rooted in BASF's integrated production concept, involving in this case natural gas, as the starting material, to produce acetylene which is converted in a reaction with formaldehyde to butindiol and, in turn, into butanediol from which by way of cyclization tetrahydrofuran (THF) is formed in the presence of a catalyst and then polymerized to PolyTHF, chemically speaking to polytetramethyl¬ene ether glycol (PTMEG).

PolyTHF provides lasting elasticity:
The textile industry accounts for most of BASF's PolyTHF output, roughly 70 percent. The industry recognizes the intermediate as an invaluable raw material for manufacturing elastic fibers.

Known throughout the world either as Elastan or Spandex, the fibers are processed with nylon, cotton or polyester fibers into high-quality fabrics.

Because these fibers consist up to 80 percent of PolyTHF, their properties are largely determined by the BASF product. They will not only stretch up to 500 to 700 times of their original length, but also keep their form durably, meaning they retain their extreme elasticity without losing their shape.

Must ReadView All

Textiles | On 24th Oct 2016

Indian govt plans roadshows to promote textile exports

The Indian government has planned to conduct roadshows to boost the...

Courtesy: TAL Group

Apparel/Garments | On 24th Oct 2016

TAL’s new garment factory goes operational in Vietnam

A new garment factory of the Hong Kong based TAL Group has become...

Information Technology | On 24th Oct 2016

X-Rite Pantone unveils appearance exchange file format

X-Rite Pantone, X-Rite Incorporated subsidiary that offers colour...

Interviews View All

Ghanshyam Ghoghari
Kimora Fashion

Bridalwear is not about reds and whites anymore

Rahuul Jashnani

‘Online economy has changed the whole dynamics of buying habits.’

Yash Agarwal
Hitansh Online

Every market region has its own culture and trends

Mohammad Hassan
Biax Fiberfilm

About one in every 20 patients picks up an infection while hospitalised....

Larry L Kinn
Suominen Corporation

Larry L Kinn, Senior Vice President - Operations Americas of Suominen...

Suresh Patel
Sidwin Fabric

Sidwin Fabric is a manufacturer and exporter of polypropylene textiles and ...

Pranav Mishra

Designers Pranav Mishra and Shyma Shetty’s Huemn is known for its...

Judy Frater
Somaiya Kala Vidya

Among the many honours showered on Frater, including Fulbright and Ford...

Bani Batra

Bani Batra’s couture wedding collection is inspired by traditional Indian...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies

October 2016

October 2016

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.


Browse Our Archives


Advanced Search