13. Aug 2021
Mura Technology, the UK-based pioneer of an advanced process capable of recycling mixed plastic waste and its global exclusive licensing partner, KBR, have today announced that Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, a core company of the Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings (MCHC) Group, has decided to develop its first Hydro-PRT (Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling Technology) project in Japan.
“This the latest in a series of agreements that Mura and KBR have signed," said Dr. Steve Mahon, CEO of Mura Technology. Doug Kelly, KBR President, Technology, added: “Alongside Mura Technology, we are excited to work with MCC on this Hydro-PRT project in Japan and make strides towards a plastics circular economy. This brings us closer to achieving our common goal of a clean and green future.”
Hydro-PRT, the technology which is licensed by Mura and KBR, is capable of recycling end-of-life plastic that would otherwise be incinerated, sent to landfill, or leak into the environment as plastic pollution. By converting mixed plastics back into fossil-replacement oils and chemicals, Hydro-PRT enables plastic waste to be upgraded into new plastics and other products, including road materials. Unlike many other recycling processes, there is no anticipated limit to the number of times the same material can be recycled with Hydro-PRT and the technology is able to process many types of plastic which currently cannot be recycled via traditional mechanical recycling processes. The use of supercritical water in the Hydro-PRT℠ technology makes the process inherently scalable, allowing for efficient scale-up at point of need.
This latest project, which will be based at MCC’s Ibaraki Plant in Japan, is expected to complete construction in 2023. It will have the capacity to handle 20,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year - with MCC studying the possibility of increasing capacity in the future. Initially, the project will aim to use post-industrial plastics. With 9 million tonnes of plastic waste arising annually in Japan , MCC will seek to extend the scope of the project and target these plastics as raw materials.
MCC sees this as an extremely important step forward and 'will continue to study and implement solutions towards a circular economy', said Shigeru Handa, Chief Operating Officer, Basic Materials Domain, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation.
In addition to this collaboration with MCC, Mura and KBR are currently exploring additional projects in Asia, the USA and Europe to supplement the global roll-out of Hydro-PRT and meet Mura’s goal of developing one million tonnes of recycling capacity by 2025.
“Plastic waste is polluting our environment at an alarming rate, not to mention the carbon emissions caused by utilising the fossil fuels needed to make virgin plastics. We need global, sustainable, and scalable solutions today. That is why we are taking an international approach – to scale fast and meet the challenge head on – and we are proud of the work that will be completed at the Ibaraki plant. Our collaboration with KBR makes this kind of global expansion possible, and we look forward to exploring new future projects with them in Europe and Asia in the coming months," said Mahon.