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NIPPON SHOKUBAI at a Glance

NIPPON SHOKUBAI at a Glance PDF [949KB]


Company Outline

Company Outline Image

Description of Business

Description of Business Image

Examples Applications

  • Diapers Image
    Diapers
    (Superabsorbent Polymers)
  • Fabric detergents Image
    Fabric detergents
    (Ethylene oxide, Ethanolamine, Secondary alcohol ethoxylates)
  • Flat panel display Image
    Flat panel displays
    (Acrylic resin for optical films, Resist polymers for color filter)
  • Fuel-cell materials Image
    Batteries for electric vehicles
    (Electrolyte for lithium-ion batteries)

※in parentheses are our products, whitch are the raw materials to make products indicated before them.


Global expansion of Acrylic Acid(“AA”) and Superabsorbent Polymers(“SAP”)

Nippon Shokubai is a global chemical company, and boasts the world's top-class production capacity for acrylic acid and superabsorbent polymers. Acrylic acid was developed by establishing a method of propylene direct oxidation* – another world first in 1970 – and a technology that has been widely adopted among leading overseas acrylic acid manufacturers. Nippon Shokubai produces not only acrylic acid but also derivative products, such as acrylates and superabsorbent polymers. These products are used as raw materials for paints, adhesives, diapers and so on. Since they are in high demand, Nippon Shokubai continues to operate its acrylic acid plants at full production capacity.
* An oxidation method in which propylene and oxygen are directly oxidi-zed via a catalyst

Global Launch of our Core Business

Global Launch of our Core Business Image

Global expansion

Nippon Shokubai has been expanding its core businesses in superabsorbent polymers and acrylic acid globally, beginning with the establishment of a production base for the former in Tennessee, USA, in 1988. Today, with production bases in Japan, the US, Belgium, China, Indonesia, and Singapore, we provide a stable supply of the products on a global scale.

The strengths of Nippon Shokubai's SAP

Superabsorbent polymers are used mainly in diapers. By drawing on the company's strengths such as its high product development capability, innovative manufacturing processes, in-house-manufactured raw materials and intellectual property strategy, Nippon Shokubai boasts the world's top-level market share.

AA Production Capacity

AA Production Capacity Image

SAP Production Capacity

SAP Production Capacity Image


Nippon Shokubai Group Mission / Corporate Credo

Business Portfolio Image


A History of Pursuing Challenges

History Technology innovation

Origin of company name, Nippon Shokubai Co., Ltd.

Shokubai is Japanese for "catalyst." Catalysts are essential in the manufacture of chemical products; our name conveys the drive for growth through developing proprietary catalysts and refining their capabilities.

Commitment to proprietary technology

The word Nippon ("Japan") in Nippon Shokubai reflects our commitment to developing technologies in-house.
Whereas many chemical companies adopt technology from overseas, Nippon Shokubai has focused on product development using proprietary technology since its founding.

Manufacturing technology expertise

As Nippon Shokubai's production processes are also developed in-house, it is proud of its manufacturing technology expertise, which constantly evolves through steady improvements made on the production floor.

Nippon Shokubai Process for acrylic acid a world first

Based on the direct oxidation of propylene, Nippon Shokubai's acrylic acid production technology is adopted over the world. Licensees of the technology include major acrylic acid manufacturers.

Superabsorbent polymers

In 1985, Nippon Shokubai began full-scale production of superabsorbent polymers at a plant with an annual capacity of 10,000 tons. With their application in diapers, its annual production capacity has grown to 710,000 tons over a quarter century later, and it continues to grow strongly.

Selection and focus

In 2003, Nippon Shokubai made a strategic decision to withdraw from the phthalic anhydride business, which had been a product since the company's founding, to concentrate on other areas. The company has since developed a structure that earns solid revenue from its core businesses in acrylic acid, superabsorbent polymers, and ethylene oxide.

Accelerate creation of new businesses and products

To accelerate creation of new businesses and products, further attention will be paid to market needs, and strategy is implemented to make shifts to new businesses in high-growth potential markets for our future key driver. Nippon Shokubai considered potential markets, familiarity, and social issues, chose three business sectors as our new business elds, namely, (1) ICT, (2) Life Sciences and (3) Energy and Environment and is working to acquire new technologies.


Nippon Shokubai is working on strengthening the competitiveness of SAP business and accelerating the creation of new businesses and products under Our Group Mission Techno Amenity -Providing affluence and comfort to people and society, with our unique technology.

The 2nd Medium-term Business Plan “○ Strengthen the competitiveness of SAP business”

・Under the SAP Survival Project, reduced costs throughout the entire supply chain.
・New plant in Belgium entered commercial operation in July 2018.
SAP plant in Belgium

○ Accelerate the creation of new businesses and products

We are building a new presence in three business sectors serving eight business areas. after evaluating market potential, synergy with our capabilities and social need.

three business sectors serving eight business areas

Cosmetic area: We Established the Cosmetics Business Office to develop cosmetics materials that will differentiate us from our competitors. We are promoting the development of application of natural materials to cosmetics materials throgh the collaboration with venture companies.

Medical materials area: With the construction of the facility for manufacturing middle-molecule drug active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) completed, our contract synthesis system for APIs and IND*s ranging was established, aimed at early commercialization.

*Investigational New Drug