Solvay to phase out use of fluorosurfactants globally

Solvay has announced the next step in its commitment to voluntarily phase out the use of fluorosurfactants globally: by 2026 it will manufacture nearly 100% of its fluoropolymers without fluorosurfactants, at its Spinetta Marengo site in Italy. One small product line, critical for the semiconductor and energy industries and representing less than 1% of production volume, will require further research and development to completely phase out the use of fluorosurfactants. A tightly-controlled, closed-loop and zero liquid discharge production process will be used for this production line.

The use of fluorosurfactants as process aids in the manufacturing of some fluoropolymers represents a global challenge for the industry. However, since 2019, Solvay has quadrupled its investment in research and innovation to develop new non-fluorosurfactant technologies. In July 2021, Solvay successfully discontinued the use of fluorosurfactants in the United States, where different products were able to be converted and qualified by customers.

“We are excited to continue expanding our non-fluorosurfactant technology as we conduct further research to achieve our aim of completely phasing out fluorosurfactants on a voluntary basis,” said Ilham Kadri, Solvay CEO. “Solvay is proud to use its innovation power to bring more sustainable technologies to market and to introduce a new polymerisation process that does not require the use of fluorosurfactants, while keeping the unique properties our customers require to make critical materials for a sustainable society, such as solutions used in renewable energy installations, lithium-ion batteries and more.”

As the phase-out of fluorosurfactants is being implemented, Solvay continues to introduce state-of-the-art technologies with the objective to eliminate fluorosurfactant emissions from its manufacturing. Solvay recently announced it was investing an additional €40M in new technology at its Spinetta Marengo site to enhance its water treatment systems to ensure the removal of fluorosurfactant emissions to close to 100%, a level known as "technical zero.

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