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SDK Starts Commercial Production of Ammonia Using Waste Plastic

May 7, 2004

Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has started commercial production of ammonia using waste plastic, offering the environment-friendly product under a newly registered brand name of ECOANN. This is part of the waste plastic recycling project that began in April 2003 at SDK’s Kawasaki Plant.

In accordance with Kawasaki City’s “eco-town project,” SDK is collecting waste plastic (used containers and wrapping for consumer products, and industrial wastes) from homes and plants in Kawasaki City and neighboring areas for recycling into various chemical products.

Specifically, 195 tons per day of collected waste plastic is gasified and processed into 175 tons of liquid ammonia and into other chemical products. The feedstock is fully recycled, leaving no waste at all.

Features of this business are as follows:

  • 1.Collected waste plastic is fully recycled into chemical products, as compared with conventional ways of incinerating waste plastic for the purpose of recovering heat or generating electricity.
  • 2.Collected waste plastic is gasified at temperatures as high as 1,300°C or more. As a result, there is no need to remove polyvinyl chloride from collected waste plastic.
  • 3.Chlorine contained in the resulting gas is neutralized with alkali and then used in the electrolytic soda process at Kawasaki.
  • 4.Sulfur is recycled into its derivatives within the site.
  • 5.Metallic impurities are recovered in the state of reduced metals and recycled.
  • 6.Purified hydrogen gas is used in the synthesis of ammonia.

Out of the capital expenditures of ¥8.4 billion for this project, ¥3,737 million was covered by subsidies from the Government and Kawasaki City.

SDK is committed to the principle of Responsible Care, promoting the use of alternative raw materials, conservation of energy, recycling of wastes, and reduction in the volume of discharged chemicals to reduce the burden on the global environment.

The new process for producing ammonia from waste plastic enables the Company to almost halve the consumption of conventional feedstock such as naphtha, coke oven gas and petroleum off-gas.

[Reference]

Outline of SDK’s Ammonia Business

The ammonia business at Kawasaki is classified as one of the base businesses in SDK’s Chemicals Sector. Taking advantage of the location of Kawasaki, we are using coke oven gas and petroleum off-gas as raw material in addition to naphtha. Together with the establishment of an efficient distribution system, the diversification in raw materials has helped us to strengthen the competitiveness of our ammonia business.

SDK is the sole producer and supplier of ammonia in the eastern Japan, having the annual production capacity of 197,000 tons. Part of the production is used internally, and SDK sells approximately 90,000 tons a year of ammonia to outside in a variety of packages. SDK has the largest share of the domestic ammonia market.

SDK has recently registered a new brand name “ECOANN” for its ammonia product, and is stepping up marketing of the environment-friendly product.