Microwave Chemicals Co., Ltd. (MWCC), an investee of PIEF, has started a PoC (Proof of Concept) project and builds a verification plant with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation and its consolidated subsidiary Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates in June 2021 for commercialization of chemical recycling of PMMA (Polymethylmethacrylate, hereinafter “acrylic resin”).
Acrylic resin is a plastic product with excellent transparency and light resistance, and the world’s demand has exceeded 3 million tons. It is widely used in various products including vehicle light covers, signboards, fish tanks at aquariums, paints, and building materials. In recent years, there has been an increase in the demand for acrylic resin to make protective screens that protect from infectious spray.
Equipment size and energy consumption can be reduced, and safeness will be improved compared to conventional methods to utilize its microwave platform technology and knowledge of industrialization to create a process that replaces the energy required to decompose acrylic resin with electrically-derived microwaves instead of fossil resources at the verification plant that is to be constructed at the MWCC’s Osaka facility.
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation plans to start full-scale work on the construction of an acrylic resin recycling facility with the intention to start its operations in 2024, and MWCC will continue to provide their technical cooperation.