MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) and its subsidiary, Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates (MCM announced plans to design and build a pilot plant to further validate the technology, said the company.
Three possible pathways to creating sustainable MMA, including the molecular recycling of acrylic resin; substituting conventional materials with drop-in plant-derived raw materials in the existing MMA monomer manufacturing process; and the direct production of MMA monomers from plant-derived raw materials by fermentation were explored. The promising results using the drop-in route have now led to the decision to commence with the design process for a new pilot plant using this technology.
According to MCC and MCM, applying plant-derived raw materials to the existing process will enable the production of MMA based on 100% bio-derived carbon. The companies said that the pilot plant is scheduled to go into operation in fiscal year 2023. After demonstrating the viability of the new technology, this will then be implemented at existing commercial-scale plants in 2026.
The companies are also working on the development of new catalysts and processes to improve the productivity and efficiency of its existing MMA monomer manufacturing technologies and to shrink the environmental impact of these processes by reducing energy consumption and emissions during manufacturing.
MMA is a raw material for acrylic resin used in automobile lamp covers, signboards, aquarium tanks, paints, building materials and many other items. Global demand for MMA already exceeds 3.6 million tons and is expected to continue to grow at the same level as GDP in every country.
As the top MMA manufacturer in the world and a leading player in the global MMA and acrylic resin industry, the companies will actively pursue the ‘potential of this business, work with stakeholders around the world to reduce the environmental burden of the entire supply chain and seek to actively lead the efforts to realise a circular economy’, the companies declared in a statement announcing the plans.
Mitsubishi plans to restart methyl methacrylate (MMA) production in Billingham, UK at the start of the second quarter after a scheduled overhaul. The production capacity in Billingham is 200,000 tonnes of MMA per year. The company closed this production for repairs on 28 January. Previously, it was expected that the repair would last 10-12 weeks.
Earlier it was reported that Mitsubishi Chemical plans to close production of methyl methacrylate (MMA) on line No. 2 in Otake (Japan) in April for scheduled repairs. This line with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes per year will be closed for maintenance until June this year to replace computers at the enterprise. The company also operates line No. 1 with a capacity of 110,000 tonnes of MMA.
The Japanese integrated chemical company Mitsubishi Chemical was established on October 1, 1990 as a result of the merger of Mitsubishi Kasei and Mitsubishi Petrochemical Co. Due to the wide scope of its activities, it is one of the ten leading chemical companies in the world.