- Cement Kiln Process (recycling of glass fiber composites through co-processing)
- Winner at JEC Asia Innovation Awards – Category: Recycling
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are widely used in daily necessities such as bathtubs, bath units, tanks and fishing ships. FRP materials have a high commercial value and feature very good durability, but are believed to be difficult to recycle.
Since 1999, the JRPS (Japan Reinforced Plastics Society) and Clean Japan Center have been repeatedly setting up experiments in order to make data available for the Cement Kiln Process (recycling of glass fiber composites through co-processing). These were conducted as a commissioned NEDO grant project entitled: “Waste reinforced plastic product recycling demonstration system research”.
The extensive experiments proceeded smoothly; in 2002, the machinery and equipment used for these studies were transferred to industrial waste disposal contractors in the private sector. The FRP Recycling Center was able to launch the recycling business of waste FRP products according to the required emission level (7,200 tons/year).
Currently, more than 5 million tons are recycled by thermal recycling each year in Japan. This also includes material recycling, thus more than 80% of the production volume has been effectively utilized. In addition, the FRP Recycling Center expects that companies involved in the recycling business have expanded their business, and will extend in the future. The ultimate goal is to transfer the technology to many other countries, thus spreading the practice.