Teijin Ltd., JGC Holdings Corp. and Itochu Corp., each based in Japan, have announced an agreement to establish a joint venture company, RePEaT Co. Ltd., to license technology to chemically recycle polyester products. Teijin and JGC Holdings both own 45 percent of the joint venture, and Itochu owns 10 percent.
The new joint venture, based in Tokyo, will license chemical-recycling technology called dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), which decomposes and converts polyester (PET) and then repolymerizes it. Notably, the DMT method removes dyes and impurities, the companies say, making it possible to manufacture recycled PET with the same quality as petroleum-derived PET.
Teijin says it has extensive experience using DMT technology for the commercial production of polyester products, including colored textile scrap and colored PET scrap.
Currently, the companies say, disposed textile products are used as a heat source (thermal recovery) or as raw materials for the production of other products (material recycling). Chemical recycling, however, would allow used textile products to be turned into new textile raw materials.
After concluding a preliminary agreement in April 2021, the three companies explored commercial opportunities to globally license the technology, using Teijin’s DMT expertise and know-how, JGC’s general engineering experience and know-how in plant construction and Itochu’s global network in the textile industry. In view of the strong global demand envisioned for their licensed technology, the partners have now decided to proceed with establishing a commercial joint venture.
RePEaT will license recycling technology that was first developed by Teijin and then jointly streamlined and packaged by JGC and Teijin. Customers in Japan and other countries are expected to use the technology to launch chemical-recycling businesses for the production of polyester products.
In addition to technology licensing, RePEaT will provide consulting services to help customers establish ecosystems that collect used polyester fiber products for reuse as raw materials.
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