Agilyx and Toyo Styrene Co. have started construction on a chemical recycling plant in Japan. The facility ultimately will have the capacity to recycle 10 tons of post-use polystyrene per day.
With operations in Oregon and Switzerland, Agilyx specializes in processing difficult-to-recycle plastics. Toyo Styrene is a Tokyo-based polystyrene resin manufacturer.
The new Japanese plant will rely on Agilyx’s molecular recycling technology, which uses pyrolysis without a catalyst. The facility will depolymerize post-consumer polystyrene waste, including take-out food boxes and other consumer goods packaging, and the resulting styrene monomer will be purified using a proprietary process developed by Toyo Styrene.
The virgin-quality styrene is suitable for manufacturing high-value polystyrene products such as food packaging and tires, which will have a much lower carbon footprint than similar products manufactured with virgin polymer.
“As the first step toward the circular economy, we will construct a chemical recycling plant for this project, collect post-industrial materials for the time being, and start a chemical recycling business,” said Sanshiro Matsushita, President of Toyo Styrene, in a prepared statement.
Matsushita added that “to build a carbon-free society through chemical recycling in Japan, we are also planning to participate in a platform that integrates citizens, businesses, and local government.” That initiative is occurring in Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.