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20.06.2019Mitsui Chemicals unveils project for bio-PP production
The G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth in Karuizawa was held June 14–16 at Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza Carpark in Nagano, Japan. Mitsui Chemicals was one of the participating companies.

The event served as a showcase for state-of-the-art Japanese energy and environmental technologies on the theme of hydrogen energy, countermeasures for marine plastic litter and innovation. The Mitsui Chemicals Group exhibited a concept it has developed for a bio-polypropylene project, which the company is undertaking as part of its efforts to achieve its sustainable development goals.

Polypropylene has a wide range of applications, spanning automobile-parts to medical care products, home appliances, housing and food products. Polypropylene plays an essential role in our lives and accounts for more than 20 percent of the plastic produced in Japan. However, due to technical difficulties, the production of polypropylene from biomass has not been established at the industrial level.

The new production method being attempted for commercialization involves the fermentation of various biomass types - mainly non-edible plants - to produce isopropanol (IPA), which is then dehydrated to obtain propylene in a first-of-its-kind IPA method. Compared to other biomass production approaches studied by other companies thus far, this one could prove to be a more cost-effective method for producing bio-polypropylene.

Mitsui Chemicals aims to contribute to society through environmentally friendly action with a circular model that leverages the supply chain by collaboration with other companies that will cultivate biomass raw materials used by Mitsui Chemicals, collect wastes generated from biomass raw materials, and supply electricity to manufacturing facilities and manufactures fertilizers through its effective use.