Rhodia signs up to strengthen Franco/Chinese scientific collaboration

‘Green’ chemistry for China cosmetics

Speciality chemical producer Rhodia, the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Ecole Normale Superieure of Lyon (ENSL) and the East China Normal University (ECNU) of Shanghai have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their scientific collaboration focused on ‘green’ chemistry.

This is considered the first step of a structured and long-term collaboration with the aim of developing common research on materials and processes based on eco-design principles and renewable raw materials.

The collaboration will draw on product lifecycle analysis methodology and is intended to help strengthen research into innovative products such as new polymers or surfactants based on natural raw materials as well as developing new and more efficient eco-friendly catalytic processes.

Rhodia says a third of its sales are currently from products that help customers reduce their carbon footprint and 90% of its major innovation projects are directly related to the challenges of sustainable development.

The company has had a presence in China for 30 years and operates one of its five major research centres in Shanghai, a laboratory that employs over 100 researchers. New product development here focuses on products designed to meet the needs of Chinese consumers and industrial customers, including formulations for personal care and home care. Rhodia says its researchers are also working to improve the carbon footprint of its production sites and developing new and more effective eco-friendly production processes.