BASF launches Lutropur, high purity methanesulfonic acid (MSA), in the South American esterification market

September 6, 2012


BASF is launching Lutropur MSA for the esterification market in South America. BASF is the world’s leading manufacturer of methanesulfonic acid, which is marketed world-wide under the Lutropur® trademark. Lutropur MSA is pure methanesulfonic acid, strong and odorless organic acid with a unique property profile that distinguishes it from all other acids.

  • Expansion and strengthening of BASF´s leading position as supplier of methanesulfonic acid/Lutropur®
  • Lutropur MSA is a strong and odorless organic acid with an unique property profile that distinguishes it from all other acids
  • In the esterification market, the acid is used as a catalyst to accelerate the transformation process
  • Lutropur MSA also presents ready biodegradability and low carbon content (TOC), generation less environmental impact.


Using a unique manufacturing process, BASF is able to provide a colorless and odorless product that is virtually free of metal ions and sulfates. Benefits in practical applications come, for example, from its nonoxidizing nature, the high solubility of its salts, the absence of color and odor, and the fact that it is readily biodegradable. Consequently, MSA is becoming increasingly important in a number of applications and industries, mainly as a catalyst in the esterification industry, used in plasticizers, biodiesel and others.

In the plasticizers market, for example, Lutropur is used as a catalyst to accelerate the transformation process. More than 90% of the general production of plasticizers is used in the flexible PVC industry for application in packaging, shoes, wires and cables, hoses and toys. There is application also in the rigid PVC industry used in tubes and civil construction materials.

“Lutropur is less corrosive if compared to the other catalyst used for esterification, as H2SO4 and p-TSA (p-Toluenesulfonic acid). Besides that, the product also presents productivity gains even in high temperatures (until 180ºC), has less influence in the color of the end-product and presents also an excellent selectivity grade if compared to the other catalysts used in the esterification process”, adds Daniel Battistini, Formulation Technologies Manager for BASF in South America.

Lutropur® MSA combines a number of beneficial physical and chemical properties. These properties make MSA the reagent of choice in many different applications. MSA is a strong organic acid with no oxidizing properties. Other advantages are its ready biodegradability and its low carbon content (TOC). Being odorless, Lutropur MSA can also be used in odor-sensitive applications and processors have a free choice when it comes to modifying the odor of their formulations.


Demand for Lutropur is continuing to increase

But not only in South America there is an increasing demand for Lutropur. Also worldwide new markets are constantly opening up: BASF has now started up production in the plant extension used to manufacture methanesulfonic acid in Ludwigshafen, Germany. As a result the capacity tripled to 30 000 tonnes per year. “We are currently evaluating further options to satisfy the fast growing markets world-wide. Our next step will be in the region Asia/Pacific as we are planning the construction of a new methanesulfonic acid plant in Malaysia,” said Gabriel Tanbourgi, President of Care Chemicals. PETRONAS and BASF agreed in March 2012 to form a new entity (BASF 60%; PETRONAS 40%) to construct and operate a new production facility for methanesulfonic acid. These facilities are going to be built at a new site within PETRONAS´s proposed Refinery & Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) complex on Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia.


Lutropur® MSA benefits at a glance

Lutropur® MSA is a strong organic acid, with less corrosive caracteristics. The BASF process does not employ chlorine. The product is also readily biodegradable and easy to handle, besides that it presents high thermal stability.


About BASF Care Chemicals

BASF Care Chemicals division offers a broad range of ingredients for hygiene, personal care, home care, industrial & institutional cleaning, and technical applications. We are the global leading supplier for the cosmetics industry as well as the detergents and cleaners industry and support our customers with innovative and sustainable products, solutions and concepts. The division’s high-performance product portfolio includes surfactants, emulsifiers, polymers, emollients, chelating agents, cosmetic active ingredients, pigments and UV filters. Superabsorbent polymers developed for the full spectrum of hygiene applications complete the range. We have production and development sites in all regions and are expanding our presence in emerging markets. We are where our customers need us around the world.


About BASF

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and agricultural products to oil and gas. As a reliable partner BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of about €63.9 billion in 2010 and had approximately 109,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at or in its Social Media Newsroom at


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