Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates and partner, Agilyx Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Agilyx AS and a pioneer in the chemical recycling of post-use plastics, announced the successful results of a full-scale production trial for polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA; commonly called acrylic) depolymerization at Agilyx’s facility in Tigard, Oregon.
The full-scale trial, conducted in August 2021, returned results consistent with the successful results of a laboratory-scale trial conducted in 2020. A mixed feedstock included both cast and extruded PMMA sheet, and the effects of different temperature settings were analyzed to find the optimal conditions for PMMA pyrolysis.
Following the successful plant trial, experts from MCM and Agilyx met to build an action plan that sets out the required next steps.
“The results at full production scale are very encouraging,” said David Smith, circular economy program lead, Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates. “The teams at both MCM and Agilyx worked very well together, and all parties are excited at the prospect of building a new PMMA depolymerization plant using Agilyx technology.”
“The results of our PMMA trials in Tigard have been very positive,” said Carsten Larsen, CCO of Agilyx. “We’ve proven that Agilyx technology is capable of turning PMMA back into its original monomer, MMA, creating a truly circular material. We’re excited to continue our collaboration with Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates.”
The crude MMA produced during the plant trial is currently being distilled at MCM’s pilot plant in Wilton, England, and will be used both for internal product development and to validate the purification solution that will be used in this process.