Ube Industries, Ltd. announced today that together with co-licensor Ebara Environmental Plant Co., Ltd., the two companies had signed an agreement with JGC Corporation that gives JGC license to utilize the Ebara Ube Process（EUP） in gasification chemical recycling of waste plastics.
Since July 2019, Ube Industries, Ebara Environmental Plant, and JGC have been studying a collaboration business utilizing EUP. With the global movement toward a circular economy expected to further accelerate in the future, Ube Industries is actively working to address the issue of waste plastics. As the licensor in the agreement announced today, Ube Industries will further facilitate the broader adoption and promotion of EUP for utilization in gasification chemical recycling of waste plastics.
Addressing waste plastics has today emerged as a global-scale social issue. Gasification chemical recycling of waste plastics works on a molecular level to break down plastics that are otherwise difficult to recycle through other processes, including plastics containing different materials or impurities. Gasification chemical recycling renders waste plastics into various chemicals including ammonia, methanol, and olefin, which can be used as raw materials for plastics, rubber, and chemical fibers. The technology is anticipated to lead to a significant improvement in recycling rates for waste plastic.
EUP, which was developed by Ube Industries and Ebara Environmental Plant, is a process that gasifies plastic waste using partial oxidation* with oxygen and steam, and produces synthesis gas that can be utilized in the synthesis of chemicals. A gasification facility utilizing EUP with an annual plastic waste processing capacity of 70,000 tons has been operating at the Kawasaki Plant of Showa Denko K.K. since 2003. It is the only facility for gasification chemical recycling in the world with a long-term track record for commercial operation.
The UBE Group is aiming to achieve an 80% reduction of GHG emissions by 2050, as part of its mandate to engage in corporate activities that are in harmony with nature, as outlined in the UBE Group Environmental Vision 2050. Furthermore, the UBE Group is addressing and helping to resolve resource, energy, and global environmental issues, as one of its basic strategies under the Vision UBE 2025—Prime Phase medium-term management plan. This is being achieved through initiatives to further reduce GHG emissions and develop and increase adoption of new technologies and products that help reduce environmental impact.
*Partial oxidation is a chemical reaction in which a mixture of hydrocarbon raw material （such as waste plastic） and air is partially combusted in a gasification furnace. The process generates a synthesis gas that is mainly made up of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.
announced on August 28, 2019
Start of the Study on Collaboration for Promotion of Gasification Chemical Recycling of Plastic Waste