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Solvay is reinventing its soda ash process and targets zero limestone discharge by 2050

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After nearly 30 years of fundamental research, the company is launching a pilot project in Dombasle (France) to validate a new breakthrough, more sustainable process to produce soda ash.

Solvay is taking a step forward towards its 2050 carbon neutrality target by investing at its Dombasle site to test an innovative, breakthrough, and more sustainable soda ash production process. 

Solvay has invested €40 million over the past years to develop proprietary technology first patented in 2014. Solvay’s researchers and engineers have invented a new method to produce soda ash, achieving three revolutionary improvements in the process: emitting 50 percent less CO2; reducing water, brine and limestone consumption; and completely eliminating limestone residues. This should allow Solvay plants to operate more efficiently and sustainably, while enhancing their competitiveness.

The achievement of a further breakthrough milestone in early 2022 created the opportunity for Solvay to accelerate the investments announced today.

If the industrial pilot project confirms the viability of the new production process, Solvay intends to progressively implement it across its facilities in the coming 30 years, as part of Soda Ash & Derivatives business’ journey towards carbon neutrality and elimination of limestone residues.

Ilham Kadri Annual Report


“I am truly excited about this breakthrough process innovation and the progress it represents towards the achievement of our Solvay One Planet goals. The investment we are making today will pave the way for Solvay to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Ilham Kadri, CEO. “Through the relentless improvement of our environmental footprint and pursuit of more innovative solutions, we are reinventing the soda ash process that was developed by Ernest Solvay himself some 160 years ago. I am proud that Solvay is perpetuating that legacy of innovation, as we lead our industry towards a more sustainable future.”

Solvay is a global leader in the production of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate with 11 production sites all over the world. These products serve essential applications to our everyday lives such as the production of glass and air pollution control systems, as well as applications in the healthcare industry, such as hemodialysis.

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Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 21,000 employees in 63 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet roadmap crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering a better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and delivered net sales of €10.1 billion in 2021. Solvay is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (SOLB). Learn more at