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Mura and KBR announce first "HydroPRS" license with Mitsubishi Chemical Corp

UK-headed plastics recycling technology provider Mura Technology Ltd and US-headed international provider of science, technology, and engineering solutions KBR Inc., have announced the first license agreement with Japan-headed Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC), a core company of the Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings (MCHC) Group, to deploy the "HydroPRS" process in Japan to help keep plastic waste out of the environment and create a new circular plastics economy.

According to Licella, its proprietary Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR) platform recycles plastic at a chemical level, meaning almost all plastic types can be recycled back into its chemical building blocks (photo courtesy Licella).

UK-headed plastics recycling technology provider Mura Technology Ltd and US-headed international provider of science, technology, and engineering solutions KBR Inc., have announced the first license agreement with Japan-headed Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC), a core company of the Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings (MCHC) Group, to deploy the “HydroPRS” process in Japan (photo courtesy Licella).

In January this year, Mura Technology and KBR announced a global alliance agreement to offer Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR), an innovative advanced plastics recycling process, originally developed by Australia-based technology developers Licella Holdings Pty that is also the largest shareholder in Mura Technology.

MCC has conducted a detailed study into the feasibility of Mura’s “Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling Solution” (HydroPRS) process, which has concluded in this first license. Mura’s global licensing partner, KBR, has provided engineering support on the project feasibility with MCC.

We are at the tipping point of an environmental catastrophe with plastic pollution, let alone the carbon emission caused by extracting fossil fuels to make virgin plastics. We need solutions today, at scale, that can provide a real sustainable solution for global industry and the largest consumer brands. That’s why we’re taking a global–first approach – to scale fast and meet the challenge head-on. There is no time to waste. This first global license with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation is a demonstration of the potential of our alliance with KBR to provide a win-win for the environment, economy, and society, helping keep our environment free from plastic and oil where it belongs – in the ground, said Dr Steve Mahon, CEO of Mura Technology.

Although Japan currently recycles around 84 percent of its plastic waste, the majority of this is combusted to create energy from waste and is not reprocessed back into the plastics supply chain. Mura’s advanced recycling process offers a deliverable solution for Japan to meet its 2030 goal of reducing disposable plastic waste by 25 percent.

With Mura’s process, there is no anticipated limit to the number of times the same material can be recycled – meaning it has the potential to significantly reduce plastics being used once and make the raw ingredients for a circular plastics economy.

In addition, advanced recycling processes are expected to save approximately 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per tonne of plastic recycled, compared to incineration of unrecycled plastics as indicated by a 2020 study in the Netherlands by CE Delft, an independent research and consultancy organization specialized in developing innovative solutions to environmental problems.

First international license

The agreement with MCC, Mura’s first international license, is the latest milestone in the company’s rapid global rollout that will see one million tonnes of advanced recycling annual capacity in operation or development worldwide by 2025.

It is the first agreement signed as part of Mura’s partnership with KBR and comes less than two months after Mura announced a partnership with Dow Chemicals, the global leader in materials science.

KBR is proud to be Mura’s exclusive licensing partner for this breakthrough technology. Over the past few months, we have seen tremendous interest in HydroPRS from many leading companies worldwide and we are excited by MCC’s decision to be an early adopter to achieve their sustainability objectives, said Doug Kelly, KBR President, Technology.

The deal forms a blueprint for other Asian countries to follow. Additional sites are also planned in the United States (US). and Germany. The world’s first plant using Mura’s innovative solution is in development in Teesside, UK, with the first 20 000 tonnes per annum line expected to be operational in 2022.

Mura is continuing to raise funds to drive further expansion and is in discussions with a range of global investors.

This new license agreement between MCC, Mura Technology, and KBR comes at a pivotal time for the natural environment, as we face a plastic pollution crisis. MCC is committed to developing and introducing new and innovative technologies into plastic waste infrastructure and following our research and feasibility study into the HydroPRS process, we feel this agreement is an extremely positive step towards our sustainability goals. The scalable nature of the process and its ability to recycle a much broader scope of plastic is fundamental to the future of plastic recycling and we are very pleased to be working with both Mura and KBR, said Shigeru Handa, Chief Operating Officer, Basic Materials Domain, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation.

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