July 30, 2008
Solutia Has the Answer to Chemicals Poser
NEWPORT chemical company Solutia has been awarded for developing an environmentally-friendly clean-up process which could now be taken up by manufacturers across Europe.
The company employs 164 people and makes a range of chemicals on its site in Corporation Road, which go into products as diverse as car windscreen safety glass, paints, floor coverings, varnishes and washing powders, as well as water treatment products and heat transfer fluids.It developed the process to deal with the toxic chemical, formaldehyde, which is discharged as a residue during the manufacture of chemicals used in washing detergents and to prevent build up of scale in water treatment processes.
The industry-accepted best technique to deal with formaldehyde through a bio-treatment plant was ineffective, so Solutia developed a reaction known as Formose, which converts formaldehyde to harmless sugars extremely cost-effectively and reduces its presence in waste water to one part per million. Now the Europe-leading success of the project has been recognised by the prestigious Business Commitment to the Environment (BCE) Environmental Leadership Awards.
Solutia was one of only 12 companies in the UK to be presented with an award by Pat McFadden, Minister of State for employment relations and postal affairs.
Solutia UK plant manager Steve Westhead paid tribute to the Newport team which had developed the process over 18 months and subsequently built a treatment plant on the site.
He said: "You often hear of companies which say they are committed to the environment, but at Solutia, we really do put every effort into operating as cleanly as we can.
"I'm very proud of everyone here who had the vision and perseverance to conceive this project and see it through.
"Newport's influence will now be felt across Europe as we share this new industry-leading standard of dealing effectively with an unpleasant chemical which results from the production of some of the commonest household substances which we all take for granted."
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