Solvay Plastics is committed to designing and developing innovative plastics solutions that help address some of the world’s most pressing issues: healthcare, population growth, water filtration and distribution, mobility, reduced energy consumption and the need for alternative energy sources.
- Solvay’s polymers contribute to every stage of the water supply chain, from desalination and transport to and from homes, to purification.
- SolVin® PVC is a popular material for the manufacture of window frames for buildings. Not only is it resistant to UV rays and poor weather conditions, but it also provides excellent heat insulation, leading to significant energy savings for homeowners.
- LED lighting offers many advantages over incandescent light sources, to include lower energy consumption and a longer lifespan. Specially formulated grades of Solvay’s Amodel® PPA are responsible for delivering long-life performance in LEDs.
- Solvay’s Aquivion® PFSA can be found in the heart of hydrogen fuel cells, enabling, for example, a new generation of Fuel Cell Vehicles.
- Solvay Plastics feature prevalently in the construct of solar panels. And for energy- generating wind turbines, Solvay delivers protective films and high performing sealants for blades, gears and generators.
- Solvay Specialty Polymers and Vinyls exceed the highest standards in terms of quality and biological safety, and stand up to the rigors of all conventional sterilization methods, making them ideal for hospital and pharmaceutical settings.
That said, Solvay is also aware of the impact plastics themselves have on the environment and so we are committed to sustainable manufacturing solutions, and work closely with stakeholders in the industry, governments and local communities to encourage the recycling of plastics waste.
Solvay Plastics was a leading voluntary participant of Vinyl 2010, a successful 10-year program that moved the PVC industry towards sustainability by minimizing the environmental impact of production, promoting responsible use of additives, supporting collection and recycling schemes, and encouraging social dialogue amongst all of the industry's stakeholders.
The recently launched VinylPlus initiative builds on the achievements and positive results of Vinyl 2010, setting ambitious new targets to recycle 800,000 tons of PVC at the end of its life span yearly by 2020. To achieve this, technologies will be developed (such as Solvay's Vinyloop® Process which enables the reuse of waste PVC plastic to make new PVC) and an appeal will be made to lawmakers to put in place legislative instruments that encourage plastics recycling.
Finding a GHG Balance
Plastic products account for just 4% of the world’s non-renewable fossil fuel consumption, but paradoxically, increased use of plastics would actually reduce the overall consumption of non-renewable fossil fuels and reduce society’s GHG emissions.
For example, plastic insulation saves energy in buildings, and food packaging reduces transport and fuel costs. A recent study undertaken by Austrian sustainability consultancy Denkstatt concluded that plastic saves 2.300 million GJ in energy per year, (the equivalent to 53 million tons of crude oil), and 124 million tons CO2 per year (the equivalent to the entire annual emissions of a small country like Belgium).
Alternative Energy Solutions: Solar Impulse from Vision to Reality
Solar Impulse aims to be the first fully solar-powered to achieve perpetual flight. In 2013, it will circumnavigate the world using zero fuel, flying night and day on solar energy. On July 7th 2010, Solar Impulse made its first day and night flight, staying airborne 26 hours, powered solely by the sun.
Solvay became Solar Impulse's first main partner in 2004, providing its recognized competence in material developments and applications. Since then, Solvay's expertise, solutions and high performing plastics have generated over 6,000 components without which this ambitious achievement would not be possible.
Solar Impulse is a perfect symbol of the major efforts and technological leaps needed to ensure a sustainable future. It demonstrates that with innovation, entrepreneurship and a willingness to contribute to the challenges of our world, we can make actual what was for so long unimaginable.
Solar Impulse and the vision it represents is possible thanks to Solvay materials.