Bust of Ernest Solvay, Belgian industrial chemist, 1913.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Bronze bust of Ernest Solvay (1838-1922) on a marble plinth, made in 1913 for the 50th anniversary of his invention. Solvay was the first person to successfully produce soda by the ammonia-soda process. The soda was produced using a mixture of common salt, ammonia and carbon dioxide. He introduced a carbonating tower, allowing the process to be continuous. This ammonia-soda process was later taken to Britain by Ludwig Mond. Solvay was a member of the Belgian Senate and a Minister of State, and had international institutes of chemistry, physics, and sociology named after him.