June 2011 Abroad: Visiting Cognis

Today the group visited the chemical plant Cognis, which will be renamed to BASF within the month.  While most of the group is not in the chemical industry, we all learned a little bit more of how chemicals are made and used in our everyday products such as lotions, body washes and toothpastes.

When we arrived at Cognis, we were welcomed by Rosa.  She made the extra effort to come into the bus and talk to us before we even saw the company.  It was a pleasant surprise.  Before the tour, we all had the opportunity to eat at the cantina for lunch.  It was Thursday so there was the chance to try paella, which is a rice dish with a mixture of seafood.  It was nice to try a Spanish dish while at a company to get a feel for the culture and mingle among the workers.

After the visit to the cantina, we had a brief overview of the company.  Cognis is a chemical company which, in my opinion, resembles Simco in some ways.  Cognis says that they are “Cognis is a leading supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients, with a particular focus on the areas of wellness and sustainability.” We learned that BASF, another chemical company bought Cognis and by the end of the month Cognis would officially be renamed to BASF.

“BASF is the world’s leading chemical company. With about 109,000 employees, six Verbund sites and close to 385 production sites worldwide we serve customers and partners in almost all countries of the world”.  We got to tour the company but we were not allowed to take pictures.

Comparing the various chemical companies was interesting and I learned a little about chemistry and how chemicals were tested to make various products like toothpaste, lotions and body washes.  It puts a different perspective on the products we use on a daily basis.  Overall, it was a nice visit with a great group of people from Cognis.

Written by: Sarah Westmoreland


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