Solvay Launches Renewables Platform

11.05.2022 - Brussels-based chemical major Solvay is launching a fourth new business platform called Renewable Materials and Biotechnology, dedicated to developing innovative and sustainable solutions for a range of markets and using renewable feedstocks and biotechnology.

The new platform, which complements the three existing “growth” platforms of Battery Materials, Green Hydrogen and Thermoplastic Composites, will group together several related businesses and, Solvay hopes, accelerate the integration of sustainable renewable feedstocks into its portfolio while also enabling the development of new approaches to manage the end-of-life phase of such products that include biodegradability by design.

Without listing all of the relevant products, the group said it is already a market leader in some of them, such as guar, bio-sourced solvents and natural vanillin. The growth plan also calls for increasing the share of renewable carbon in the group’s product offering and developing new business opportunities.

Renewables present “enormous innovation potential,” which Solvay is well positioned to leverage, both through internal expertise and strong links with customers and external innovation partners, said CEO Ilham Kadri.

The new business area is expected to also provide an opportunity to form strategic alliances for new businesses that will benefit multiple markets, while also helping to address key societal and environmental needs, Solvay said. The approach also includes providing formulations for agro and personal care, solutions for food and flavors, as well as advanced materials for transportation and aerospace, it added.

By enabling the development of sustainable solutions based on renewable carbon, the platform will also play a fundamental role in the achievement of Solvay’s 2030 sustainability goals, set out in the its “One Planet” sustainability roadmap, Kadri said.

The roadmap’s targets include increasing the share of sustainable solutions in group sales to 65% and more than doubling the share of Solvay products based on circular raw materials compared to 2018, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.

Solvay’s Batteries platform leverages its expertise in extracting and purifying metals to transform them into high-purity raw materials for new batteries while the Green Hydrogen platform joins together all of its solutions for the green hydrogen economy, including its ion-conducting polymer membrane technology, which is at the heart of electrolyzers and fuel cells systems.

The Thermoplastic Composites platform brings together the group’s specialty polymers and composite technologies to meet demanding lightweighting applications across many industries.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist