Ernest Solvay, Belgian manufacturer, 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Ernest Solvay (1838-1922) was the first person to succesfully produce soda by the ammonia-soda proces. The soda was produced using a mixture of common salt, ammonia and carbon dioxide. He introduced a carbonating tower, allowing the proces to be continuous. This ammonia-soda proces 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.