Ube Industries and Ebara Corporation's Two-Stage Pressure Gasification System Wins Leading Science and Technology Award from Japanese Government

April 20, 2005

TOKYO, April 20, 2005__ Ube Industries, Ltd. and Ebara Corporation have been jointly awarded the Science and Technology Award in the development category by the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology recognizing the companies' breakthrough Ebara-UBE Process (EUP) technology. EUP technology is a two-stage pressure gasification system for chemical recycling that has been jointly developed and commercialized by Ube Industries and Ebara Corporation.

The Ministry's Science and Technology Award singles out remarkable achievements in the nation's science and technology fields. The Award seeks to recognize individuals involved in pioneering R&D and discoveries with commercial applications, which contribute to advancement and improvement of the nation's social economy and the lifestyles of its citizens. Eighteen other individuals were recognized this year by the Ministry.

The following individuals were named to receive the Science and Technology Award:

Osamu Kameda, Shigeya Hayashi: (Energy and Environment Sector, Ube Industries, Ltd.)
Takao Sato, Hideko Sugiyama: (Environmental Engineering Group, Ebara Corporation)

The two-stage pressure gasification system developed by Ube Industries and Ebara Corporation is a pioneering technology for converting waste plastic into gas. The resulting converted gas is primarily composed of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, with almost no trace of hydrocarbons. The process takes place in a two-stage gasifier comprised of a low temperature gasifier and a high temperature gasifier, both operating under pressure. Oxygen and steam is used for thermal decomposition and partial oxidation of waste plastic, without the need for sorting and separation.

The resulting converted gas can be used to synthesize ammonia and produce other raw materials for the chemical industry. Other applications include using converted gas as a clean energy source through the use of fuel cell technology and dimethyl ether (DME).

Inorganic substances and metals contained in waste plastics are recycled as part of the two-stage pressure gasification system. Inorganic substances are recovered as granulated slag for use as a raw material in cement and other construction materials, while recovered metal scraps can be recycled to significantly reduce the burden on final disposal sites.

EUP technology fully addresses environment concerns over synthesization and resynthesization of dioxins contained in waste plastic. Dioxins are thermally decomposed in a high temperature gasifier at temperatures exceeding 1,300 degrees Celsius, then instantly cooled to under 200 degrees Celsius to prevent dioxin synthesization and resynthesization. Other major environmental benefits include recycling of converted gas for use as a chemical raw ingredient, leading to a reduced dependence on fossil fuels and lower CO2 emissions.

Ube Industries and Ebara Corporation have been engaged in the construction of a pilot plant and trials for the gasification system since fiscal 1998, in collaboration with the Plastic Waste Management Institute and under the sponsorship of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). After conducting successful trials, the two companies established a joint venture, EUP Co., Ltd., in Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. The joint venture is primarily involved in the processing of waste plastic in accordance with Japan's Container and Packaging Recycling Law. Converted gas produced from the two-stage pressure gasification system is then sold to Ube Ammonia Industry Ltd. for use as a raw material in ammonia production.

The two-stage pressure gasification system is a state-of-the-art technology with significant benefits for environmental conservation and resource conservation. Looking forward, Ube Industries and Ebara Corporation plan to increase the volume of waste plastic processed using the system, and will seek to license EUP technology to promote further application of this important technology.

Two-Stage Pressure Gasification System

Two-Stage Pressure Gasification System


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