At the origin of life itself!

Present on Earth since the planet formed 4.5 billion years ago, I have been at the heart of all technological developments since prehistoric times. In Latin, my name means coal. 

Abundant in the universe and essential for all known forms of life, I am found only in minute quantities in the Earth's crust. In nature, I am polymorphic and exist in the form of coal, oil, graphite, diamonds, etc. 

Ranked among the light elements in the periodic table, I belong to non-metals family as oxygen. I transform myself in contact with the other elements. Sometimes I’m a gas, sometimes a liquid, sometimes a solid… with me, everything is possible! 

Thanks to my multiple properties and characteristics (e.g. strength, mechanical, optical, energy performance, etc.), I am used for applications in a great many areas of activity: composite materials for airplanes, lithium-ion batteries, air and water pollution control, etc.

Often associated with greenhouse gases, I am a subject of controversy in the public debate. Yet in the form of graphene, I am considered – just like thermoplastic composites – one of the materials of the future about to revolutionize industry and our daily lives. 

I am Carbon.

Omnipresent in Solvay activities

Carbon is present, and plays a key role, in all the branches of chemistry and material science. It is used in all Solvay activities and is found, in particular, in our flavorings and solvents, in our mineral recovery agents, in the additives we use in our surfactant formulations or in our advanced materials such as composites, etc. A composite material is obtained from the combination of a carbon fiber fabric with a resin. Solvay is leading the industrialization of composites that contribute to sustainable mobility. Ultra-lightweight and resistant, these materials are revolutionizing the transport industry.

Commercial airplane jetliner flying above clouds

Composites for faster, lighter, greener mobility