When consumers open a bottle of shampoo, wash their clothes, drive a
car, or turn up the heat on a chilly winter day, they can thank Solvay
researchers in Bristol, Pa. for making these modern conveniences more
pleasant, effective and consumer-friendly.
Nearly 150 research scientists, customers and coworkers from around the
world today celebrated 10 years of “Impacting Innovations” and
sustainability milestones at Solvay’s Centre for Research & Innovation
in Bristol, Pa. Solvay relocated its North American research center to
Bristol in late 2005 from the company’s outdated former laboratory in
Cranbury, New Jersey.
During a full day of technical presentations, customer meetings, lab
demonstrations, tours and networking, guests viewed first-hand how
Solvay’s pioneering spirit, scientific expertise and customer engagement
have propelled the research function into a mainstay of innovation for
prominent consumer brands and one of Solvay’s key drivers for
sustained---and sustainable--- growth.
About 100 researchers and support staff, representing 18 different
countries work at Solvay’s Bristol site; about 42 percent of the
researchers hold doctorate degrees. Their work is mainly focused on the
chemistry behind home and personal care consumer products including
soaps, detergents, body lotions and household cleaners; energy,
industrial and agricultural products; architectural coatings; oil & gas;
and rare earth applications and devices used in automotive catalytic
Highlighting the last 10 years, Bristol scientists have secured more
than 350 patents in the U.S. and abroad, with another 475 patent
applications pending approval around the world. Bristol scientists have
authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications of which 15 have been
cited more than 15 times each by other scientists and scientific
Recognizing Solvay’s innovations, Thompson-Reuters named Solvay among
the world’s top 100 global innovators in recent years.
The Bristol complex also houses the Complex Assemblies of Soft Matter
(COMPASS) laboratory, a research collaboration with the University of
Pennsylvania’s Laboratory for Research on the Study of Matter (LRSM) and
the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the French
national center for scientific research. Solvay’s Bristol site also
operates within the company’s network of 1,950 staff members at 15
research centers around the world, including laboratories in Belgium,
France, Italy, Brazil and China.
Beyond its chemistry research accomplishments, Solvay’s Bristol lab also
serves as a practical model for sustainability. In the past decade,
Solvay has reduced the building’s total energy consumption by one-third
through operational excellence programs. The site’s conversion to
natural gas for boiler operations resulted in a 27 percent reduction in
greenhouse gas emissions. And the installation of a high-efficiency
chiller produced 25 percent savings in cooling costs.
And on a more individual, personal level, employee-based sustainability
efforts eliminated Styrofoam cup usage and use of trash liners in
offices, resulting in a reduction in the site’s carbon footprint and
eliminating 8,000 kg of waste paper per year.
In the local community, Solvay researchers conduct chemistry
demonstration programs for middle school students, provide chemistry
tutoring for high school and community college students, serve as judges
at local science fairs, host summer interns as part of the American
Chemical Society’s Project SEED for disadvantaged students, donate food
for needy families, and contribute to the United Way of Bucks County.
Solvay is also an active participant in the Bristol site’s community
advisory council, where leaders of nearby neighborhood, business and
school organizations meet for updates on site operations, safety
improvements and business conditions.
“Solvay’s Bristol researchers are proud of their work every day, inside
the lab and outside,” explained Francine Palmer, director of the Bristol
facility. “We are especially proud of the impact of our innovations, our
patents, our publications, our collaborations, our sensitivity to our
environment and our commitment to our local community."
“Perhaps most of all,” she observed, “we’re proud to contribute all of
our energy to improving our society, one innovation at a time. Our
Bristol researchers exemplify the principles set by the company’s
founder, Ernest Solvay, more than 150 years ago, when he set the course
for ‘science in service to mankind.’”
US ON TWITTER @SOLVAYGROUP
As an international chemical group, SOLVAY
assists industries in finding and implementing ever more
responsible and value-creating solutions. Solvay generates 90% of its
net sales in activities where it is among the world's top three players.
It serves many markets, varying from energy and the environment to
automotive and aerospace or electricity and electronics, with one goal:
to raise the performance of its clients and improve society's quality of
life. The group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about 26,000
people in 52 countries and generated 10.2 billion euros in net sales in
2014. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE)
is listed on EURONEXT
in Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB
- Reuters: SOLBT.BR).
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