First international joint research unit in China dedicated to eco-friendly chemistry

On November 4, 2011, the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Rhodia, the Ecole Normale Superieure of Lyon and the East China Normal University officially opened the Laboratory of Eco-efficient Products and Processes, an international joint research unit devoted to eco-friendly chemistry based in Shanghai (China).

This international research facility – the first of its kind to be set up in China – was officially opened by Régis Réau, head of the CNRS Chemistry Institute, and Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Chairman of Rhodia, in the presence of Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing, and Sun Chao, Secretary of the Communist Party, Minhang district.

Specifically dedicated to eco-efficient chemistry, this international joint research unit is based at Rhodia’s research center in Shanghai and will bring together research scientists from academia and industry in addition to a number of students.

Faced with the foreseeable depletion of fossil fuels and their significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, the aim of this international research unit is to deliver new products and eco-efficient processes capable of reducing our dependence on oil. The scientific challenges are so great that they call for the association of a great many key skills in order to rapidly overcome the various technological barriers.

For this reason, the laboratory will house joint international research carried out by scientists from academic institutes in China and Europe working together with industrial partners. This research unit, which operates at the interface between public and private research, may subsequently develop further partnerships with other Chinese universities and companies.

Rhodia, headquartered in France, is a world leader in the development and production of specialty chemicals. The company provides added-value products and high-performance solutions to diversified markets, including automotive, electronics, flavors and fragrances, health, personal and home care, consumer goods and industrial, through its 11 Global Business Units (GBUs), 65 production sites and 14,000 employees worldwide. The sales turnover for 2010 was Euros 5,226 million.

Rhodia leads the world in the production of mild amphoteric surfactants, phosphorus chemistry and guars and derivatives, as well as in high-performance silicas, rare earth-based formulations and diphenols. Rhodia is number two in polyamides and the number three producer of cellulose acetate tow.

Rhodia is recognized as the major sulfuric acid regenerator in the US and, as one of the first companies to implement the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. Rhodia’s product range includes :

  • Cellulose acetate
  • Diphenols & derivatives
  • Engineering plastics
  • Fluorinated compounds
  • Phosphorus derivatives
  • Polyamide & Intermediates
  • Polyamide fibers
  • Precipitated silica
  • Rare earths, mixed oxides & aluminas
  • Salicylic & derivatives
  • Solvents
  • Specialty polymers & monomers
  • Sulfuric acid & services
  • Surfactants
  • Textile yarns