BASF supplies biomass-balanced tetrahydrofuran to Asahi Kasei

BASF supplies biomass-balanced tetrahydrofuran to Asahi Kasei

Accelerate renewable feedstock use in the textile value chain to support increasing global demand for more sustainable textile products

  • By ICN Bureau | October 11, 2023

BASF is supplying biomass balanced tetrahydrofuran (THF BMB)2 to the ROICA Division of Asahi Kasei Corporation (Asahi Kasei), a multinational Japanese company. Asahi Kasei will use BASF’s THF BMB to produce its mass balance grade premium sustainable stretch fiber under the ROICA™ brand. This collaboration aims to support the launch of a new sustainable apparel collection by Asahi Kasei’s customers.

ROICA supplies its mass balance (MB) stretch fiber as an option for most of its portfolio products. The brand is making its debut in the market with MB stretch fibers and has already initiated discussions with several apparel manufacturers.

BASF’s THF BMB is recognized for its significant reduction in product carbon footprint compared to its standard grade of THF products. This is achieved by replacing a certain amount of fossil raw materials in the production with renewable feedstock in its Verbund setup.

According to Asahi Kasei, utilizing BASF’s THF BMB can lead to an approximately 25% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to its existing products. Additionally, by introducing its own mass balance approach and renewable energy in the production, Asahi Kasei aims to further reduce CO2 emissions of its products by approximately 25%, resulting in a total reduction of CO2 emissions by approximately 50% compared to Asahi Kasei’s existing products.1 Without the need of large investments or changes to the product’s formulation, BASF’s THF BMB drop-in solution3 ensures identical quality and properties as the standard product.

Choon Nga Phua, Director, Business Management Diols & Derivatives, Intermediates Asia Pacific, BASF, said, “We are excited about the progress we have made in our sustainability partnership with Asahi Kasei. We see a growing trend in the adoption of more sustainable raw materials in the global apparel market. As a pioneer in the development of the biomass balance approach, we will support our customers in accelerating the transition to a lower-carbon, circular bio-economy and help consumers make informed purchasing decisions about more sustainable products, thereby fashioning a more sustainable textile value chain.”

“As one of the global leaders in the development and manufacturing of innovative materials, we view this as another step in our efforts to bring our business pillar of originality and sustainability together,” said Takehiro Kamiyama, Senior Executive Manager of ROICA Division, Life Innovation SBU, Asahi Kasei.

THF is a colorless, water-miscible liquid with an ether-like odor. In this case, THF is used to produce polytetrahydrofuran (PolyTHF), which is a raw material for the production of highly elastic spandex and elastane fibers. Furthermore, THF serves as an organic solvent with intermediate polarity for organic substances and is used as a reaction medium or starting material for various syntheses.  

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