Ernest Solvay

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Ernest Solvay

Ernest Solvay (c1900)
Born 16 April 1838
Rebecq
Died 26 May 1922
Ixelles
Nationality Belgian
Fields chemistry
Known for ammonia-soda process

Ernest Gaston Joseph Solvay (16 April 1838 – 26 May 1922) was a Belgian chemist, industrialist and philanthropist.

In 1861, he made the ammonia-soda process to make soda ash. The process was an improvement over the earlier Leblanc process.

He founded the company Solvay & Cie. The first factory was at Couillet in 1863. Soon, Solvay process plants were in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and Austria. Today, about 70 Solvay process plants are still working worldwide.

In 1903, he founded the Solvay Business School which is part of the Free University of Brussels.

He elected two times to the Belgian Senate. He was Minister of State at the end of his life. Solvay, New York and Rosignano Solvay, the locations of the first Solvay process plants in the United States and in Italy, are named after him.

Solvay died at Ixelles.

The portrait of participants to the first Solvay Conference in 1911. Ernest Solvay is the third seated from the left. Solvay wasn't present at the time the photo was taken, so his photo was cut and pasted onto this one for the official release