Solvay Begins Decarbonizing Process At Melle Plant In France

Jan. 15, 2021
Solvay converts biomass into renewable gas for the plant's cyclopentanone unit.

Solvay begins a process of decarbonizing the cyclopentanone unit of its Melle plant in France.  Through an agreement with an agricultural cooperative for the next 15 years, the entire cyclopentanone production will rely solely on biomethane gas, a green source of energy. The cooperative built a facility to convert waste biomass into 18 GWh of renewable natural gas (RNG) per year, which Solvay has committed to purchase for its Melle plant.

“Since cyclopentanone is used as a building block for so many fragrance applications, such as jasmine, we are committed to producing it in the most sustainable way,” says Guillaume Meunier, flavor and fragrance global marketing director for Solvay Aroma Performance. “Powering the Melle plant with biomethane gas is a part of our Solvay ONE Planet initiative, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2030.”

Solvay commercializes two grades of cyclopentanone – one for the fragrance market and one ultra-high purity version for the electronics market, both manufactured at its Melle plant. In fragrance applications, cyclopentanone is used as a building block mainly in methyl dihydro jasmonate (MDJ), which provides a delicate floral bouquet of blooming jasmine flowers.  Other aroma chemicals derived from cyclopentanone include an entire range of delta-lactones, which offer a variety of delicate creamy and fruity notes. Cyclopentanone is used in electronics as a solvent during the semiconductor manufacturing process.

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