Chemical recycling of PMMA for its everlasting beauty
[Company / organization] SUMITOMO CHEMICAL Co., Ltd.
Members and their roles, and Point of this initiative
・The Japan Steel Works, Ltd. (JSW)：Provides continuous plastic decomposition technology using twin-screw extruders "TEX" developed in 1997.
・Sumitomo Chemical Co.,Ltd：Utilizes Sumitomo Chemical‘s expertise on MMA (methyl methacrylate) monomers and acrylic resins (PMMA, poly-methyl-methacrylate) that it has cultivated over the years.
・Point of this initiativeト：Leverage the strengths of both companies to develop and implement chemical recycling technology for acrylic resin.
Scheduled implementation time
It is scheduled to begin pilot tests in the fall of 2022 and to start providing samples in 2023.
Description of technology and business model
JSW will provide a technology to efficiently and safely decompose the used acrylic resin into MMA monomer by using its twin-screw extruder "TEX," which has been dramatically improved its mixing performance and is used for a wide range of applications.
Sumitomo Chemical will produce acrylic resin from recycled MMA monomer, which is generated from decomposition of used acrylic resin, by means of its knowledge that the company has cultivated over many years, such as bulk polymerization, and so on.
Through joint development, the two companies have established a unique basic technology using a twin-screw extruder "TEX" suitable for decomposing acrylic resin, that allows generation of recycled MMA monomer to proceed more efficiently than before.
Compared to virgin materials made from fossil resources, the basic properties of acrylic resin produced by polymerization of recycled MMA monomer obtained by this technology are almost the same, such as transparency and strength, and it is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60% over the entire product life cycle.
This project is being undertaken as a demonstration project for the construction of a recycling system for plastics and other resources to support a de-carbonized society, subsidized by the Ministry of the Environment (FY2021 and FY2022).
Achievements and goals
In the laboratory scale, it has been confirmed that recycled monomer can be obtained at a high recovery rate from used acrylic resin, and that it can be recycled into acrylic resin of the same quality as virgin material.
We will demonstrate feasibility of this technology on a scale that can be implemented in society, and establish a circular system from collection of used acrylic resin to recycling and reprocessing into products, for contributing to the construction of a sustainable society.
By establishing this technology, we will circulate beautiful acrylic resin with outstanding transparency around the world as Meguri® products.
URL that introduce this initiative
・News release from Sumitomo Chemical：
・News release from JSW：
・Press release from Ministry of the Environment, Japan：
- Company in different category.
- Case/initiative by multiple companies/ organisations