Solvay has announced the completion of expansion of its China Research & Innovation (R&I) Centre in the Solvay Shanghai Technology Park with the inauguration of the ‘Magnolia’ research building. The company also recently opened its Material Application & Development Lab in Shanghai. In all, Solvay has spent about €500,000 at the R&I hub since 1995. The new building features a pilot hall for advanced materials applications, an automation & robotics lab and purpose-built spaces customised for both industrial applications and consumer goods research.
Solvay has announced the names of the two companies that will emerge after its planned separation into ‘essentials’ and ‘speciality’ businesses. This process is on track to be completed in December 2023, subject to customary conditions. Further updates will follow.
The ‘essentials’ business will continue under the name Solvay and will comprise the existing mono-technology businesses including Soda Ash, Peroxides, Silica, Coatis and Special Chem. These had combined net sales of about €5.6 billion in 2022.
Solvay has officially opened its application development lab in Shanghai. Housing some 30 scientists, engineers and technicians, it will seek to “advance custom-tailored application developments” using Solvay technologies, notably for the automotive, new energy, life sciences, smart devices and semiconductors.
Solvay has agreed a multi-year strategic collaboration with US firm Ginkgo Bioworks, which was formerly Zymergen. Under this, Solvay said, they will join forces “to unlock the power of synthetic biology as an enabler of more sustainable chemicals and materials, contributing to the transition towards more environmentally friendly solutions”.
Solvay has agreed to source mixed rare earth oxides (rMREOs) recycled from permanent magnets at the Ontario site of Canadian cleantech start-up Cyclic Materials for use in automotive, renewable wind energy and electronics applications at its site in La Rochelle, France (pictured).
Non-profit organisation CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) has issued its rankings for 2022. These rate about 15,000 companies in multiple industries from about 18,700 who submitted data about their emissions on a scale from A to D- in three categories. In all, 283 received an A for Climate Change, 25 for Forests and 103 for Water Security.
Solvay is to expand its rare earths operations in La Rochelle, France, to enter the value chain for permanent magnets based on alloys of rare earths. These are mostly imported into Europe at present and many rare earths are in short supply. The company itself claims to be the technology leader in their separation, recycling, purification, finishing and formulation.