Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Shinya Ishizu) and Nittetsu Chemical Engineering Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo; President: Masaharu Watanabe) have successfully pioneered the first practical application technology for breaking down and recycling used fluorinated resin in order to reuse the material. The break decomposition/recycling plant operation launch within the Asahi Glass Chiba Plant (Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, Japan) is scheduled to take place this coming June. Asahi Glass will mainly collect used fluorinated resin left over from the manufacturing processes in its plant, and then expand the scale of the decomposition/recycling plant to break down and treat used fluorinated resin collected from its customers.
Fluorinated resin is used as an insulation material for heat-resistant electric cables/wires, as well as in the manufacture of semiconductors and electronic components. However, because of the difficulty in handling the gas generated in the thermal decomposition process, fluorinated resin has been considered extremely difficult to recycle, and when deemed as non-recyclable it has been treated as industrial waste. Asahi Glass feels the responsibility as a fluorinated resin manufacturer to solve this problem and has been studying technology for recycling used fluorinated resin since 2001. Asahi Glass has successfully developed materials for decomposition equipment in collaboration with Nittetsu Chemical Engineering, from which the practical applications for the technology emerged. In the new process, collected fluorinated resin is broken down into calcium fluoride, extracted and then recompounded to produce fluorinated resin.
With the aim of improving corporate value through solid management and environmental conservation, Asahi Glass is striving to build a sustainable society through the integration of environmental management systems, the reduction and recycling of waste, as well as the development of environment-friendly technology and equipment. Activities relating to recycling technology include the reuse of chlorofluorocarbons emitted from electric home appliance manufacturing plants and glass bulbs for cathode ray tubes (CRTs), as well as the development of recycling and collecting systems for automotive glass.
Fluorinated resin has excellent thermal and chemical resistance, as well as incombustibility. Approximately 20,000 tons of fluorinated resins are annually supplied in Japan. It is used mainly as an insulation material for heat-resistant electric cables/wires, physiochemical/electronic components, and in the manufacture of semiconductors.
(Collecting system diagram)