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JGC to conduct feasibility study for Korea’s first plastic-waste gasification plant

| By Mary Bailey

JGC Corp. (Yokohama, Japan) recently received an order for a feasibility study toward realizing the first plastic-waste gasification recycling plant in South Korea, which is being planned by a major South Korean chemicals company.

This project involves carrying out a feasibility study relating to the construction of a plant for achieving plastic waste gasification recycling (with a capacity of several hundred tons a day) by utilizing the Ebara Ube Process ( EUP) technology, which JGC Group holds the relicensing right to. The plastic will be gathered from plastic waste sorting facilities in a dozen or more locations in South Korea, and will comprise mixed films and the plastics that remain after sorting, which are challenging to recycle. The results of the feasibility study are scheduled to be compiled by around first quarter of 2021.


EUP technology makes it possible to break down mixed films and residue plastics, which until now have been thought of as difficult to reuse (Source: JGC)

The Ebara Ube Process was developed by Ebara Environmental Plant and Ube Industries. The process involves gasifying plastic waste through partial oxidation by oxygen and steam to produce synthesis gas that can be utilized in chemical compounds. A gasification plant that employs EUP to process approximately 70,000 tons of plastic waste a year has been operating at Showa Denko’s Kawasaki Plant since 2003, and EUP continues to be the only technology for gasification chemical recycling in the world with a long-term track record of commercial operation.
On the basis of the EUP relicensing contract that JGC Group concluded with these three companies, the Group is advancing operations for recycling plastic waste based on the provision of EUP-related technologies from Ebara Environmental Plant and Ube Industries, and the provision of mass production technologies and operational support from Showa Denko.

EUP, which the Group proposed to the major South Korean chemicals company, makes it possible to break down mixed films and residue plastics, which until now have been thought of as difficult to reuse, to a molecular level. This contributes significantly to promoting the recycling of resources. The synthesis gas produced by gasification facilities can be utilized as an alternative raw material for chemical products, and by undertaking a refinement process it can even by utilized as low-carbon hydrogen.

Going forward, the move toward resource recycling is projected to accelerate further worldwide. JGC Group is engaging in promoting gasification recycling of plastic waste by proposing gasification facilities for waste plastic, such as the one mentioned above, and facilities for manufacturing chemicals using the synthesis gas produced by the gasification facilities, as well as hydrogen production equipment that uses plastic waste as a raw material.