valorize waste streams for solvay - market developmetn case

Valorize waste into a million euro business – Solvay’s Limestone Residue

Market Development Case Study

valorizing waste streams for Solvay


Creax helped Solvay to valorize a substantial waste stream. Mountains of previously space-consuming limestone are now being sold very profitably.

tons of fine limestone per year
0 euro
per ton
0 euro
profit in first year

About Solvay

Solvay is an innovative science company and a global leader in materials, solutions and chemicals used in planes, cars, batteries, smart and medical devices, water and air treatment. Founded in 1863 by Ernest Solvay, today the group ranks among the world’s top in high-performance polymers and composites technologies. In 2019 they were active in 64 countries and employed 24000 employees, with sales exceeding 10 billion euro.

The challenge

One of the best-known activities of the chemical giant is the so-called Solvay process. This is used to produce sodium carbonate (also known as soda ash or by its chemical name Na2CO3). The main ingredients for this process are salt and limestone.

The production of sodium carbonate led to a sizable waste stream of fine limestone. This by-product had no inherent value for Solvay and additionally proved to be challenging to store. Thousands of tons of limestone took up valuable space

valorize waste streams for solvay - market developmetn case

How Creax helped to valorize waste

To valorize the growing mountains of residual limestone waste, Creax conducted a market development study to find applications and players across different industries for whom the fine limestone proves to be valuable.

For this type of study Creax applies the methodology of technology DNA determination. This is a comprehensive mapping of the properties and linked (potential) functionalities of a product. Based on this DNA, Creax discovered technological opportunities for this specific limestone and its derivatives using its Intelligence Platform. The key European markets were mapped, detailing information such as annual volumes, trends and prices. For each potential market, Creax also researched the companies involved and identified the contact information of relevant decision makers.


Using these actionable market insights, Creax and Solvay reached out to the identified companies. This proved to be successful as a new cooperation was quickly set up with a first new customer. In less than a year, the waste stream, initially considered as a cost, was entered into a new value chain for Solvay, bringing an initial revenue of half a million Euro. Meanwhile, the market opportunities are further explored, and Solvay therefore reinforced their team with two additional business developers.