Specialty chemicals and polymer supplier Rhodia says it has signed a memo of understanding with Ecole Normale Superieure of Lyon, France , the French National Center for Scientific Research and the East China Normal University of Shanghai to reinforce their collaborative research on "green" chemistry.
The first step in this structured agreement aims to develop common research on materials and processes using eco-design principles and renewable raw materials. Using product lifecycle analysis methodology, the collaboration is meant to strengthen research into such areas as new polymers or surfactants based on natural raw materials, and to develop new, more efficient environment-friendly catalytic processes.
Rhodia has a 30-year history in China and in 2008 opened its fifth global research center in Shanghai, which now employs more than 100 researchers developing new products for Chinese consumers and businesses. Market sectors include electronics, plastics, personal care, home care and agricultural products.
Rhodia says that a third of its sales are from products that help customers reduce their carbon footprints, and that 90% of the company's major innovation projects relate directly to sustainable development. Researchers in Shanghai also are working to improve the carbon footprint of Rhodia's production sites, and to develop new and more effective eco-friendly production processes.