Study on the World's First Commercialization of Polycarbonate Resin Chemical Recycling

March 15, 2023

The Mitsubishi Chemical Group (the MCG Group) has started a study aimed at realizing a processing capacity of approximately 10,000 tons per year by 2030, seeking to commercialize the world's first chemical recycling by depolymerization of polycarbonate resin (PC resin). A bench facility for a verification study is currently under construction at the Fukuoka Plant, with completion scheduled for August 2023. The MCG Group plans to complete demonstration experiments during the same fiscal year and then proceed with specific commercialization studies. The demonstration project has been adopted as a subsidized project for the Ministry of the Environment's "FY2022 Demonstration Project for a Plastic Resource Circulation System toward a Decarbonized Society" program.
PC resin is an engineering plastic with excellent transparency, impact resistance, heat resistance, and dimensional stability, and is often used for automobile interior parts, headlamps, building materials, etc. Currently, it is common to recycle used PC resin through mechanical recycling, in which it is pulverized, melted, and then remolded. However, there is a problem of not being able to obtain recycled resin of sufficient quality if degraded or different resins are mixed in. In contrast, chemical recycling, in which used PC resin is depolymerized, returned to monomers, and then polymerized again, makes it possible to recycle a wider range of used PC resin into high-quality recycled PC resin.
The MCG Group aims not only to establish chemical recycling technology, but to build a recycling system for used PC resin. It plans to actively cooperate with companies that use PC resin in their products.
In addition, the MCG Group will start deploying the high-value-added PC resin "XANTAR™,” from April 3, 2023, aiming to further strengthen its engineering plastics business. The MCG Group will continue to supply high-value-added performance products and contribute to the realization of a sustainable society by working to build a recycling system for them.

Chemically recycled PC resin

“MOE Japan Selects Entrusted and Subsidized Projects for the ‘FY2022 Demonstration Project for a Plastic Resource Circulation System toward a Decarbonized Society’ Program (First Round)”
released by the Ministry of the Environment, dated August 5, 2022:
“Notice on Restructuring to Strengthen Engineering Plastic Business”
released by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, dated February 8, 2022:

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