The local group’s portfolio includes chemicals, plastics, coatings, dispersions, agricultural products and nutrition. The company pioneered the development of the first catalytic converters on 1975-model cars. A year later it introduced the modern three-way-catalyst, which is capable of destroying more than 90% of hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) produced by car engines.
Since then, says the company, BASF’s three-way-catalyst technology has, on a global basis, destroyed more than a billion tons of HC, CO and NOx. “The 50-million catalysts we have produced in Port Elizabeth have removed more than 35-million tons of pollutants from vehicles around the world,” BASF South Africa mobile emissions catalysts plant site director Dr Mike Tribelhorn, told Engineering News. Catalytic converters make up around 50% of South African vehicle component exports. Exports of the emission control component increased 21% in 2010 over 2009. Total component exports from South Africa were up an estimated 12% in 2010, reaching R30-billion.
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