Solvay Launches Bio-silica, Plans Capacity in Italy, USA

20.01.2023 - Solvay is investing an undisclosed sum at its site in Livorno, Italy, to launch its first circular highly dispersible silica (HDS), which is made with bio-based sodium silicate derived from rice husk ash.

In addition, it plans to build a new HDS plant in North America in the coming years and is investigating projects in Asia and South America.

According to the Belgian chemicals company, its “breakthrough” silica process, coupled with renewable energy integration at Livorno, will reduce CO2 at the plant by 50% per ton of silica. This, said Solvay, will make Livorno Europe’s best-in-class silica production site in terms of CO2 footprint. Production is expected to start by the end of 2024.

The circular HDS will gradually replace Solvay’s existing Zeosil range, which is used to make energy-efficient tires, as well as to reinforce various rubber goods, including those used in home & personal care and the feed & food industries.

In separate news, Solvay is relocating its headquarters from Neder-over-Heembeek to the Brussels municipality of Haren. The move of all administrative and research teams will be done in phases during a 12-month period starting in April this year.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist