Showa Denko Achieves Recycling of 1 Million Tons of Used Plastics in Total

February 09, 2022

In January 2022, Showa Denko (SDK) (TOKYO: 4004) achieved chemical recycling of used plastics amounting to 1 million tons since the start of its Plastic Chemical Recycling Business in 2003. SDK operates its Plastic Chemical-Recycling Business at the Company’s Kawasaki Plant, and calls this business “Kawasaki Plastic Chemical Recycling” (KPR).

SDK has been operating KPR since 2003 under the provisions of “The Law for Promotion of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Containers and Packaging.” In the process of KPR, SDK’s Kawasaki Plant accepts used plastics collected by municipalities, etc., and recycles used plastics into materials for chemical products. At the KPR plant, we gasify used plastics at high temperature, dissolve the produced gas into molecules, and extract hydrogen and carbon dioxide. We utilize the extracted hydrogen as a material to produce low-carbon ammonia, which we market under the trade name of ECOANNTM, and the extracted carbon dioxide as a material to produce dry ice and gas for carbonated drink.

SDK is the one and only chemical company that synthesizes ammonia over a long period of time by utilizing low-carbon hydrogen extracted from gas produced through the process of used-plastic chemical recycling. Since 2015, SDK’s KPR project has been accredited by the Ministry of the Environment as one of “Demonstration Projects to Promote Local Consumption of Locally Produced Low-carbon Hydrogen Gas Made from Used Plastics.” Moreover, In January 2016, KPR was awarded a “Silver Prize in the Eco-Mark Awards 2015” from Japan Environment Association, and in November 2020, KPR received “The Grand Prize, Award from the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry” as a part of Green Purchasing Network’s 21st Green Purchasing Award. Thus SDK’s KPR is acclaimed highly, and expected by society to contribute to environmental protection.

Hydrogen and ammonia produced from used plastics can be used not only as materials to produce chemicals, but also as non-fossil energy sources conforming to the Japanese Government’s Basic Energy Plan, which has shaped Japanese society’s course to increase the use of non-fossil energy sources. Therefore, the market for hydrogen and ammonia is expected to grow in the near future. Especially, ammonia is expected to be used as carbon-free energy source, which does not emit carbon dioxide when it is burned, similar to hydrogen.

In 1931, SDK’s Kawasaki Plant succeeded in production of ammonia with domestically developed technology for the first time in Japan. Since then, SDK has been contributing to stable supply of ammonia for 90 years. SDK will continue positively contributing to establishment of carbon-free and recycling-oriented society through operation of this KPR business, which is an icon of the Company’s strategy to promote sustainability, by making the most of operational know-how accumulated through operation of KPR over a long period of time

Exterior view of Kawasaki
Plastic Chemical Recycling plant

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ブランド・コミュニケーション部 広報グループ