PureCycle Technologies Inc. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Tokyo-based Mitsui & Co for the development of a facility for the production of what it calls ultra-pure recycled polypropylene (UPRP) in Japan.
PureCycle, headquartered in the USA, uses a patented recycling process, developed by Procter & Gamble, to convert waste polypropylene (PP) from a wide range of sources into virgin-like UPRP. The technology is a physical purification process that uses a non-toxic solvent to extract colour, odour and contaminants from recovered waste polypropylene, yielding recycled polypropylene of exceptional purity and consistent quality.
The news about the MOU with Mitsui comes hard on the heels of a similar announcement last month, in which the company said it had signed an MOU with SK Chemicals, to explore the feasibility of building a PP recycling plant in South Korea.
“At PureCycle, we genuinely believe we can change society’s view of plastic,” said PureCycle's CEO, Mike Otworth in the video announcing the MOU. “We want you to see plastic as an ultra-pure, infinitely sustainable material. “ To that end, he added, PureCycle is working with the best partners around the world. “PureCycle's goal is to recycle 1 billion pounds of plastic by 2025. I know working with Mitsui in Japan will help us fulfil our vision of reducing plastic waste across the globe.”
PureCycle completed the financing for its flagship recycling facility in Ironton, Ohio in October 2020. Construction of the plant is well underway and it is expected to begin commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2022. This first plant is expected to produce over 105 million pounds of UPRP per year. PureCycle has already presold more than 20 years of rPP output from the Ohio plant and announced in July the location for the first cluster facility in Augusta, Georgia. This second location will have the capacity for up to five processing lines with the capability to produce up to 650 million pounds of rPP toward PureCycle's one-billion-pound goal. Engineering for the cluster facility was started in Q2 2021 with construction set to begin in Q1 2022.