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BASF doubles production capacity of phthalate-free plasticizer

Chemicals giant BASF announced today that it has doubled capacity of its phthalate-free plasticizer Hexamoll DINCH from 100,000 to 200,000 metric tons per year at its site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The second Hexamoll DINCH plant will enable BASF to satisfy growing customer demand and strengthen supply security worldwide while continuing to ensure consistently high quality, the company said in a press release. The expanded capacity is available immediately.

Hexamoll DINCH is a nonphthalate plasticizer developed, in particular, for applications involving close human contact. Introduced in 2002, Hexamoll DINCH has become an established plasticizer in food packaging, medical devices, and toys, according to BASF. Demand for the material has also been growing for flooring and wall coverings.
 
There have been longstanding concerns regarding DEHP-type plasticizer migration and its potential interference with the endocrine system. Increasingly, health authorities in Europe and the United States are recommending that the use of classified phthalates in medical devices be phased out.

Hexamoll DINCH has been used to produce a range of medical devices, including enteral feeding and respiratory tubes, dialyzer systems, and breathing masks, BASF's Andreas Gryger told PlasticsToday. Moreover, "because it was specially developed for products that come into close human contact, flooring and wallpaper applications have also become popular," he says. The material's toxicological profile and low migration rate are great selling points, adds Gryger.

"In the last few years we have been experiencing a strong customer demand for alternatives to traditional phthalates and a market change to nonphthalate plasticizers," said Rainer Diercks, President of BASF's Petrochemicals Division. "With our second Hexamoll DINCH plant and the doubled capacity we support our customers in managing this change and making the move to Hexamoll DINCH."

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