New technologies enabled Solvay to stop using PFAS-based process aids in the US 

Since 2019, Solvay has quadrupled its investment in Research & Innovation to produce non-fluorosurfactant technologies that can meet the performance needs of our customers in a more sustainable way.

“These new polymerization technologies are a real breakthrough,” says Patrick Maestro, Solvay’s Scientific Director. “What is particularly noticeable is the speed at which the team realized this innovation that allows us to move forward in a more sustainable way. This is the beginning of the journey, as we need to be able to transform more products, including those that are critical for the development of clean mobility.”

Progress through customer insight

As our highly specialized polymers are used in just as highly specialized applications (in car batteries, hydrogen production, coatings, etc.), any sort of change is always a complex endeavor that requires working closely with the companies that use them. “This particular challenge of removing fluorosurfactants was difficult to solve, but we persevered, and despite Covid, we were able to develop and test two unique solutions in automotive and coatings, in a more intimate customer interaction than usual,” says Bradley Kent, who manages Solvay Specialty Polymers’ Technology Center in New Jersey.

For all these reasons, the new non-fluorosurfactant technologies recently received a Solvay Innovation Prize in the One Planet category, for the improvements in sustainability they enable. The Group is now working on transforming more products for even more demanding critical applications.