Solvay Awarded for Environmentally Sustainable Technology

Solvay's new environmentally sustainable technology has been likened to “making oranges from orange juice,” according to the company. The 2007 Glycerine Innovation Award was presented by The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). The honor was presented during the annual meeting and expo of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS) in Quebec, held May 13-16, 2007.

“NBB is proud to team with SDA to encourage new, high value uses for glycerine,” said Steve Howell, NBB’s technical director, in a press statement. “Glycerin is an important by-product of making biodiesel. Also, the use of glycerine as a chemical building block can help supplement petroleum-derived products."

Business managers and researchers working together reportedly helped develop Solvay’s Epicerol technology, which company officials report offers major environmental improvements in the production of Epichlorohydrin--whose main applications include the production of epoxy resins, paper reinforcement and water purification products.

The environmental advantages of the new technology are said to include: 

  • Consumption of glycerine, a renewable resource, instead of propylene, an oil derivative. 
  • A tenfold reduction of water consumption.
  • An eightfold reduction of chlorinated residues.

Bruno Jestin and Philippe Krafft, representing Solvay’s business and research teams, were named on the Glycerine Innovation Award commemorative plaque, which also comes with a $5,000 honorarium.

“The SDA/NBB Glycerine Innovation Award recognizes outstanding achievement for research into new applications for glycerine with particular emphasis on commercial viability. This year’s awardee certainly meets those criteria,” said Kathleen Stanton, SDA's associate director of scientific affairs, in the report.

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