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BASF invests in PVP production worldwide

The excellent binding properties of the polymer PVP (polyvinylpyrrolidone) makes the product particularly popular in the pharmaceutical industry. Now BASF is planning to increase its expansion of PVP production significantly. Up to EUR 56 million will be invested in this worldwide over the next four years. For example, PVP will also be produced at BASF's Shanghai site for the first time, which will release additional capacity in Ludwigshafen, benefiting pharmaceutical production in particular. Global PVP production could see a total increase of up to 6,000 tonnes.

Demand constantly rising

The Kollidon® range of pharmaceutical auxiliaries, which is produced from PVP, has been on sale since the 1970s. “Demand has been rising for 40 years,” says Thiebaut Wenzler, Head of Sales Europe at BTC. Alongside strong growth in the pharmaceutical sector in general, Wenzler attributes this chiefly to PVP being a “very effective material”. Its water-soluble version is used as a binder for tablets, while the non-soluble version acts as a disintegrant, ensuring that tablets release their active ingredients reliably in the body. PVP was invented by BASF chemist Walter Reppe 75 years ago, and BASF remains a market leader to this day.


The polymer PVP has a wide range of properties. It is water-soluble, but can also absorb large quantities of water; it does not cause skin irritations; it is temperature resistant, non-ionic and colourless; and it has a constant pH value. This is why it is also used in the cosmetics, washing detergent and food sectors. As a pharmaceutical auxiliary, PVP can also be used as a suspension stabiliser or thickening agent.

Highest quality standards for the pharmaceutical sector

Wenzler particularly emphasises the significance of the high quality standards when producing PVP as a pharmaceutical auxiliary: “In this field, lower quality immediately carries risks.” Contamination, unwanted interaction between the active ingredient and the auxiliary or effects on the stability of the tablet – “we in the pharmaceutical industry cannot afford the luxury of that kind of risk,” says Wenzler. BASF's latest investments in PVP production therefore also highlight the voluntary commitment and effort that go into maintaining the highest quality standards.

You can find additional information and contact your local BTC contact partner directly using the Solution Finder at www.btc-europe.com.  

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