According to foreign media reports, Mitsui Chemicals and Microwave Chemical Co. of Japan launched an initiative to commercialize microwave technology in the chemical recycling of waste plastics.
The project involves the direct use of previously difficult to recycle plastics to produce raw material monomers, including automobile crushing residue (ASR, mainly a mixture of polypropylene based plastics) and thermosetting sheet molding compound (SMC) for automobile parts.
Since the establishment of strategic partnership in 2017, the two sides have established a solid relationship through partial equity investment with the goal of jointly developing a new generation of chemical process technology. The two companies are considering applying microwave technology to various chemical processes.
This new initiative attempts to commercialize the chemical recovery technology and directly use the plastic degradation technology based on plawave microwave developed by microwave chemical company to directly decompose ASR and SMC products into original monomers. Due to the cancellation of intermediate steps, direct monomer is more effective than traditional methods, and waste plastics can be recycled into plastics. Traditional methods need to convert waste into oil before monomer. The technology uses electricity generated by renewable energy to power the decomposition process and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions.
With the positive results of the preliminary review, the project will be verified with microwave chemical's laboratory scale equipment before the end of fiscal year 2021. Comprehensive implementation measures will then be considered for rapid demonstration testing.