German company BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions celebrates 50th Anniversary AND the production of the 500 millionth catalyst at their Huntsville plant.

“Since the Huntsville site’s inception in 1973, we’ve continuously invested in innovative processes and equipment to help our customers reduce air pollution, and we’ve continuously invested in our most important asset — our people,” said Ray Weed, Huntsville site director for BASF.

The milestones, he said, “represent more than just numbers, they symbolize the unwavering dedication and hard work of our teams through the years.”

Over the years BASF has expanded the Huntsville location, including a 2017 project, to become ECMS’s largest automotive catalyst site.

Today, more than 700 employees and contractors work at the site. In 2022, the site’s economic impact included an annual payroll of $73.6 million and $1.2 million in local and state taxes.

 “I’ve witnessed the transformative effects of companies like BASF on our local communities and the broader economy,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “BASF has not only contributed to the growth of Huntsville but has also been a driving force in Alabama’s economic development.”


BASF pioneered the emission control catalyst at the Huntsville facility, with the first catalytic converters appearing in 1975-model cars. This breakthrough invention used in all vehicles with an internal combustion engine converts hazardous compounds such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons into naturally occurring compounds like carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water, leading to a reduction in air pollution. 

To date, BASF catalysts have eliminated billions of tons of air pollutants.

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