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News Releases2020.10.06

EBARA Environmental Plant and Ube Industries Sign Agreement with JGC Corporation to License EUP

EBARA Environmental Plant (President & Representative Director: Yoshio Watanabe; Head Office: Ota-ku, Tokyo; hereinafter, "EBARA Environmental Plant") announced today that, jointly with Ube Industries, Ltd. (Head Office: Ube-shi, Yamaguchi; President & Representative Director: Masato Izumihara; hereinafter, "Ube Industries"), it signed an agreement with JGC Corporation (Head Office: Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa; President: Yutaka Yamazaki), under which EBARA Environmental Plant and Ube Industries license JGC Corporation to utilize the Ebara Ube Process (EUP) in the gasification chemical recycling of waste plastics.

1. Background

While it is expected that efforts to realize a circular economy will accelerate globally, the three companies have been studying a collaboration involving EUP since July 2019.1 Through this licensing agreement, EBARA Environmental Plant will work to popularize and promote EUP as a method for the gasification chemical recycling of waste plastics and will actively address the issue of waste plastics at in Japan and overseas.

2. Ebara Ube Process (EUP)

It is believed that the chemical recycling of waste plastics is a promising method of addressing the problem of waste plastics, which has been a global social issue in recent years. It will help significantly increase the percentage of waste plastics that are recycled. It decomposes waste plastics that are composed of different materials and impurities, which presents difficulties for other recycling methods, and recycles them into a variety of chemicals, such as ammonia, methanol and olefin, enabling them to be reused as raw materials for plastics, rubber, and chemical fibers. Developed jointly by EBARA Environmental Plant and Ube Industries, EUP is a process that gasifies waste plastics through partial oxidation, in which oxygen and steam are used to produce a synthesis gas that can be used for the synthesis of chemicals.2 Since 2003, an EUP-based gasification facility (with a processing capacity of approx. 70,000 tons of plastic waste every year) has been operating at Showa Denko K.K.'s Kawasaki Plant. It is the only gasification chemical recycling facility in the world that has continued to operate commercially over the long term.

The EBARA Group established E-Vision 2030, its long-term vision, in 2020. With its key message, “Technology. Passion. Support our globe,” the Group began initiatives to sustainably contribute to society through the pursuit of ESG-focused management and help achieve the SDGs. Under this vision, the Group has set a 2030 goal of reducing GHG emissions by approx. 100 million tons. The signing of this licensing agreement will be a big step for EBARA Environmental Plant toward this goal.

EBARA Environmental Plant will continue to address climate change and plastic waste problems by providing chemical recycling technologies and products, in its efforts to help build a sustainable society.

1 Circular economy: An economic system in which raw materials, products, and other items that would be disposed of are regarded as new resources and resources are recirculated without generating waste
2 Partial oxidation: It is a type of chemical reaction in which a hydrogen-rich gas is generated through the partial combustion of a mixture of air and a hydrocarbon fuel, such as waste plastics, in a gasifier.

Related link
Start of the Study on Collaboration for Promotion of Gasification Chemical Recycling of Plastic Waste (August 28, 2019)

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