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Sumitomo Chemical to Build a PMMA Recycling Pilot Plant

Sumitomo Chemical to Build a PMMA Recycling Pilot Plant

  • 23-Aug-2021 12:14 PM
  • Journalist: Motoki Sasaki

Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical has announced that the company will be building its first Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) recycling facility at Niihama in Ehime prefecture, Japan. The new facility is expected to initiate pilot tests in the second half of 2022 and will start providing samples in 2023. There was no disclosure about the plant’s capacity details. 

The company will be working to develop a recycling system for PMMA which will run parallel to the proposed project. The recycling system will be developed from collecting used acrylic resin to recycling and reprocessing the resin to products. The company is aiming for early commercialization of the recycled PMMA formed during the process. 

The raw material for the pilot plant which is the used acrylic resin will be sourced from Nippura Co which is a major player in producing large acrylic panels for aquariums. The company will also be beginning to study a suitable raw material procurement system which included collection of used acrylic resin from scrapped automobiles, electrical appliances, and protective partition panels. 

The recycled MMA monomer, and the acrylic resin produced from it are expected to find application in automotive, construction etc. where the added value of recycled materials is recognized. 

PMMA is a transparent thermoplastic and impact resistant substitute of glass. It has properties such as high durability, chemical resistance, weather resistance, impact strength, and optical clarity. PMMA is commercially available in two grade which are optical grade and general purpose grade. Global demand for PMMA stood at 1.3 million tonnes in 2020 and is expected to grow at a steady rate of 4.7%.

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