New technology to recover plastics from junk developed

Mitsubishi Electric announced on Wednesday that they, as Japan’s first company, have developed a technology that makes it possible to automatically separate plastics from scrapped electronic devices [JP].

The company says that removing plastics from scrapped electronic devices is usually a complicated process due to resins getting mixed up in the shards. Using the Mitsubishi technology, it becomes relatively easy to remove polypropylene, polystyrene and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene resin from the appliances (by generating static electricity and by benefiting from differences in weight between different substances).

Mitsubishi will build a plastics recycling plant just outside Tokyo in October 2009, where the new technology will be used. The company is ready to invest $27 million and expects 6,700 tons of consumer electronics and home appliances to be recycled each year. It claims plastics with a purity of 99% can be recovered.