BASF, UA Formalize Ionic Liquids Partnership

BASF, UA Formalize Ionic Liquids Partnership

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – BASF and The University of Alabama today formalized BASF’s exclusive licensing of patents covering the use of ionic liquids to dissolve, regenerate and process cellulose as well as an arrangement for continuing research by UA for BASF concerning the use of ionic liquids with cellulose.

Ionic liquids are a new class of highly attractive solvents that typically are not flammable, do not evaporate, and exhibit high thermal stability.

Press Conference Announcing Partnership

“We’re pleased to formalize this licensing agreement and research partnership with BASF,” said UA President Robert E. Witt. “Finding improved ways to use a home-grown natural resource can positively impact the region’s economy while simultaneously reducing dependence on petroleum,” he said.

“This new technology could open up great potential for the use of cellulose as a chemical feedstock for production of plastics and fibers with enhanced properties,” said Wayne Smith, Group Vice President of BASF’s Intermediates Group in North America. “By utilizing cellulose in new ways, we have the potential to create new materials that provide superior performance and require less petroleum to manufacture.”

With 700 billion tons in existence, and 40 billion more grown each year, cellulose is the planet’s most abundant bio-renewable organic chemical. Without suitable solvents, only 0.1 billion tons of cellulose has been used annually as feedstock for further processing. Using the new ionic liquids technology, solutions of cellulose can now be produced at technically useful concentrations, opening new uses for this natural, renewable polymer, which is found in the cell walls of trees and other plants.

“This technology enables us to produce blends of polymers and cellulose that provide excellent plastics performance,” said Dr. Robin Rogers, Robert Ramsay Chair of Chemistry and director of UA’s Center for Green Manufacturing. “For example, we’ve found that we can produce film blends of cellulose and polypropylene that have exceptional tear strength. This could have great implications for the packaging industry, among others.”

The BASF-UA research partnership will study the dissolution and processing of cellulose by means of ionic liquids. In addition, BASF has licensed the exclusive use of various intellectual property rights developed, and BASF and UA will continue to develop this specific application for commercial use.

Patents and research covered by this arrangement include four applications of ionic liquids with cellulose: dissolution and processing (including regeneration) of cellulose using ionic liquids; polymer, cellulose dissolution and blend formation in ionic liquids; cellulose matrix encapsulation; and ionic liquid reconstituted cellulose composites as solid support matrices.

“Encapsulation and support matrix formation using ionic liquids with cellulose is an exciting area for commercialization that we are exploring,” said Dr. Calvin Emanuel, business manager for BASF’s Intermediates New Business Development unit in North America. “Using this technology, we can encapsulate active medical or crop protection ingredients and magnetic particles together. The resultant micro-encapsule can then be ‘directed’ to a specific application point, providing focused and concentrated treatment.

“In addition, support matrix formation using ionic liquids with cellulose allows us to create fibers with extraordinary properties. By embedding titanium dioxide into a cellulose fiber support matrix, we can create a fabric that is antibacterial, potentially reducing bacterial transmission via clothing and bedding.”

BASF is a global leader in the manufacture and utilization of ionic liquids on an industrial scale. As the first company to utilize ionic liquids in a commercial scale operation, BASF provides ionic liquids in gram to ton quantities with its BasionicsTM portfolio. BASF also provides access to its proprietary commercial scale BasilTM (Biphasic Acid Scavenging using Ionic Liquids) technology that enables quick and simple removal of acids from reaction solvents, eliminating troublesome solids formation.

In 2005, a University of Alabama research team, led by Rogers, was presented with one of only six Environmental Protection Agency Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The UA team was the nation’s academic winner and won the award for demonstrating a new way to dissolve and use cellulose in producing environmentally friendly materials. Rogers is a faculty member within UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest public liberal arts college in Alabama with 355 faculty and 6,600 students. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships, and memberships on the USA Today All-USA College Academic Team.

BASF – The Chemical Company. We don’t make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy better.® BASF Corporation, headquartered in New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF AG, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF employs about 10,000 people in North America and had sales of approximately $11.3 billion in 2005.

As the world’s leading chemical company, BASF’s portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil and natural gas. BASF’s intelligent solutions and high-value products help its customers to be more successful. BASF develops new technologies and uses them to open up additional market opportunities. It combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility, thus contributing to a better future. In 2005, BASF had approximately 81,000 employees and posted sales of more than $50.4 billion. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA), New York (BF), and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.

Original release: UA NEWS

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – BASF and The University of Alabama today formalized BASF’s exclusive licensing of patents covering the use of ionic liquids to dissolve, regenerate and process cellulose as well as an arrangement for continuing research by UA for BASF concerning the use of ionic liquids with cellulose.

Ionic liquids are a new class of highly attractive solvents that typically are not flammable, do not evaporate, and exhibit high thermal stability.

Press Conference Announcing Partnership

“We’re pleased to formalize this licensing agreement and research partnership with BASF,” said UA President Robert E. Witt. “Finding improved ways to use a home-grown natural resource can positively impact the region’s economy while simultaneously reducing dependence on petroleum,” he said.

“This new technology could open up great potential for the use of cellulose as a chemical feedstock for production of plastics and fibers with enhanced properties,” said Wayne Smith, Group Vice President of BASF’s Intermediates Group in North America. “By utilizing cellulose in new ways, we have the potential to create new materials that provide superior performance and require less petroleum to manufacture.”

With 700 billion tons in existence, and 40 billion more grown each year, cellulose is the planet’s most abundant bio-renewable organic chemical. Without suitable solvents, only 0.1 billion tons of cellulose has been used annually as feedstock for further processing. Using the new ionic liquids technology, solutions of cellulose can now be produced at technically useful concentrations, opening new uses for this natural, renewable polymer, which is found in the cell walls of trees and other plants.

“This technology enables us to produce blends of polymers and cellulose that provide excellent plastics performance,” said Dr. Robin Rogers, Robert Ramsay Chair of Chemistry and director of UA’s Center for Green Manufacturing. “For example, we’ve found that we can produce film blends of cellulose and polypropylene that have exceptional tear strength. This could have great implications for the packaging industry, among others.”

The BASF-UA research partnership will study the dissolution and processing of cellulose by means of ionic liquids. In addition, BASF has licensed the exclusive use of various intellectual property rights developed, and BASF and UA will continue to develop this specific application for commercial use.

Patents and research covered by this arrangement include four applications of ionic liquids with cellulose: dissolution and processing (including regeneration) of cellulose using ionic liquids; polymer, cellulose dissolution and blend formation in ionic liquids; cellulose matrix encapsulation; and ionic liquid reconstituted cellulose composites as solid support matrices.

“Encapsulation and support matrix formation using ionic liquids with cellulose is an exciting area for commercialization that we are exploring,” said Dr. Calvin Emanuel, business manager for BASF’s Intermediates New Business Development unit in North America. “Using this technology, we can encapsulate active medical or crop protection ingredients and magnetic particles together. The resultant micro-encapsule can then be ‘directed’ to a specific application point, providing focused and concentrated treatment.

“In addition, support matrix formation using ionic liquids with cellulose allows us to create fibers with extraordinary properties. By embedding titanium dioxide into a cellulose fiber support matrix, we can create a fabric that is antibacterial, potentially reducing bacterial transmission via clothing and bedding.”

BASF is a global leader in the manufacture and utilization of ionic liquids on an industrial scale. As the first company to utilize ionic liquids in a commercial scale operation, BASF provides ionic liquids in gram to ton quantities with its BasionicsTM portfolio. BASF also provides access to its proprietary commercial scale BasilTM (Biphasic Acid Scavenging using Ionic Liquids) technology that enables quick and simple removal of acids from reaction solvents, eliminating troublesome solids formation.

In 2005, a University of Alabama research team, led by Rogers, was presented with one of only six Environmental Protection Agency Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The UA team was the nation’s academic winner and won the award for demonstrating a new way to dissolve and use cellulose in producing environmentally friendly materials. Rogers is a faculty member within UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest public liberal arts college in Alabama with 355 faculty and 6,600 students. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships, and memberships on the USA Today All-USA College Academic Team.

BASF – The Chemical Company. We don’t make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy better.® BASF Corporation, headquartered in New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF AG, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF employs about 10,000 people in North America and had sales of approximately $11.3 billion in 2005.

As the world’s leading chemical company, BASF’s portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil and natural gas. BASF’s intelligent solutions and high-value products help its customers to be more successful. BASF develops new technologies and uses them to open up additional market opportunities. It combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility, thus contributing to a better future. In 2005, BASF had approximately 81,000 employees and posted sales of more than $50.4 billion. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA), New York (BF), and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.

Original release: UA NEWS
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