University of Nottingham: University of Nottingham partners with Mitsubishi Chemical to explore microwave acrylic recycling

The University of Nottingham (UoN) is working with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) to explore microwave technology for recycling PMMA (acrylic).

Following agreements announced in 2020 to build a circular economy solution for the material, the new partnership with the university will further support MCC’s goal of identifying a range of complementary PMMA recycling technologies.

“As we work towards building a European recycling plant for PMMA, it is important that we consider all relevant potential technologies. We have already partnered with Agilyx Corporation to use their depolymerisation technology and we are keen to identify additional solutions that could complement the Agilyx process; microwave is one such technology,” said David Smith, Circular Economy Lead, Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates.

“Our aim is to develop the ultimate suite of recycling solutions for our customers, both in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. The partnership with UoN will help us to better understand how microwaves could help us meet this objective.”

“Microwave technology offers great potential to improve the quality of recycled product and enable further options for its reuse in PMMA manufacture, and will reduce the net energy usage.”
Dr John Robinson, from the Low Carbon Energy and Resources Technologies research group.

“Working in partnership with Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates, we aim to develop a microwave process that will enable the use of renewable energy sources and reduce the overall number of steps required for PMMA recycling,” said Dr Eleanor Binner, Associate Professor, also from the University’s Faculty of Engineering.