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Polystyrene beads

Japan’s Toyo Styrene Licenses Agilyx’s Chemical Recycling Technology

The agreement enables Toyo Styrene to deploy the Agilyx technology near Toyo Styrene’s facility in the Chiba Prefecture of Japan, where it will focus on recycling post-use polystyrene back to styrene monomer.

Chemical recycling company Agilyx Corp. announced that it has licensed its technology to Toyo Styrene Co. Ltd., an affiliate of Denka Co. Ltd. The license agreement enables Toyo Styrene to deploy the Agilyx technology near Toyo Styrene’s facility in the Chiba Prefecture of Japan. The facility will focus on recycling post-use polystyrene back to styrene monomer.

“This announcement marks our formal entrance into the Asian markets to deliver circular pathways for plastics,” said Joe Vaillancourt, CEO of Portland, OR–based Agilyx. “We are excited to be working with a group that shares our mission of reducing the impact on the global environment by increasing recycled content in new products while reducing the dependency on virgin material. Toyo Styrene has been a leader in developing eco-friendly products for the efficient use of plastics.”

Toyo Styrene was established in April 1999 and has been developing a high-performance grade of polystyrene.

Sanshiro Matsushita, President of Toyo Styrene, said that his company will “enhance the chemical recycling of polystyrene (PS) by making use of the characteristics that PS is relatively easier to depolymerize into styrene monomer than other plastics.” Noting the capability of producing PS food containers with “no problem in both quality and safety,” Matsushita declared, “This is the very beginning for a true circular economy in Japan.”

Agilyx and Toyo Styrene will commence engineering and development of the facility immediately. The state-of-the-art depolymerization plant will have a processing capacity of up to 10 tons per day of post-use PS. Toyo Styrene will purify the styrene monomer oil produced from the technology into a highly purified styrene monomer using its proprietary purification technology. The manufacture of styrene through depolymerization of post-use polystyrene has a lower carbon footprint compared with virgin styrene monomer. The facility is expected to commence operations in early 2022.

Image: Black_kira/Adobe Stock

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