Industry News

Acrylic monomers and superabsorbents: Global business unit under new management

Published on 2006-04-11. Author : SpecialChem

Ralf Spettmann is head of BASF's global acrylic monomers and superabsorbents business unit as from April 2006. Mr. Spettmann succeeds Dr. Markus Kramer who took over as head of BASF's functional polymers division at the beginning of 2006. The division's three business segments are acrylic monomers and superabsorbents, adhesive raw materials and construction chemicals, and paper chemicals.

Ralf Spettmann is head of BASF's global acrylic monomers and superabsorbents business unit

Ralf Spettmann was born in Sindelfingen, Germany, in 1965 and studied business administration and information technology at Stuttgart University. His first position was with IBM in Düsseldorf followed by several years with The Boston Consulting Group in Munich with postings to Paris and Toronto. During his final period as partner and director with that company, Spettmann was in charge of global customer relations with BASF.

"I am looking forward to working with Ralf Spettmann. His experience and personality will help us to take our acrylic monomers and superabsorbents business to new strengths," commented Dr. Markus Kramer. "Following the successful startup of our new acrylic acid complex in Nanjing, the next challenges are out there waiting for us. We're building a new superabsorbents plant at our Verbund site in Freeport to replace our existing plants in Aberdeen and Portsmouth by mid-2007. We also plan to increase our production capacities at our European Verbund sites in Antwerp and Ludwigshafen in response to our growing acrylic monomers and superabsorbents business. These measures will increase our global manufacturing leadership and keep us competitive through the use of state-of-the-art technology."

Acrylic acid is the main precursor in the production of superabsorbent polymers, materials which absorb many times their own weight in liquid and are mainly used in diapers and other hygienic products. Other acrylic acid derivatives are pure acrylate dispersions of the kind used for binders in varnishes and paints, and acrylic acid ester, also known as acrylate. These monomeric building blocks are used to manufacture the polymer dispersions contained as a functional component in architectural coatings, glues, fiber binders, products for the construction chemicals industry and coatings for the paper industry.

Source: BASF

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