Advanced research

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Advancing chemical research and technology 

Solvay’s research and innovation teams lead the way in organic chemistry and catalysis, inorganic chemistry, materials science, polymer science, soft condensed matter, and chemical engineering.

Our researchers constantly look for new sustainable solutions and work in our advanced laboratories including four joint research units with academia, using cutting-edge technologies to realize their ideas.

Sustainable Organic Chemistry 

We seek innovative routes to eco-efficient products and processes thanks to catalysis, organic chemistry or biotechnologies. 
Our teams develop new bio-based solvents and surfactants, monomers, and water retention agents in soils.

Functional Materials

We tackle the challenges for sustainable mobility and energy with functional materials that harness specific valuable properties, such as hydrophobicity or hydrophilicity, membrane, and optoelectronic.

Advanced Polymer Materials

We develop sustainable solutions for bio-based polymers and advanced materials such as thermoplastic composites or products for building insulation. Our teams focus on semi-crystalline polymers, elastomers, and combinations of non polar and polar polymers.

Through this research, we aim at developing materials with finely controlled properties, which meet three major challenges: a significant reduction in the weight of various parts in transportation market, an improvement of barrier properties and durability for environmental safety, and a better control of the lifecycles of engineering plastics and rubbers.

Innovative Research Tools and Methods

We improve research productivity and shorten innovation time to market by inventing non-conventional tools and methods for i.a. development of catalysts, property evaluation of formulations, determination of kinetics and physico-chemical properties of chemically reactive and microbiological systems. High throughput methodologies and miniaturized research tools help us speed-up the development of new surfactants, polymers and coatings for personal care, agrochemical formulations and Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) applications.

Process & Technology Innovation

Our chemical engineers, with expertise in process and technology, are at the very heart of how we do chemistry. The disruptive processes they develop optimize the environmental footprint of our production activities, reducing waste and emissions as well as energy and raw material consumption.
Our modeling experts specialize in conceiving process design and scaling up. They support also industrial teams with optimizing, revamping or debottlenecking of our production units or by providing data analysis.
While our researchers continue to lead the way with pioneering technology, safety experts acquire experimental safety data for innovation projects and provide data for risk analysis for production plants, and a dedicated team conceives environmental solutions for waste and effluent treatment, soil remediation, microbiology management, both during innovation projects and industrial support.
To make sure the solutions we conceive are eco-efficient, a dedicated team provides economic and environmental evaluations for our innovation projects and life cycle analysis for new products.