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Efficient chemical recycling through the use of microwaves

Japanese technology group Asahi Kasei plans to chemically recycle polyamide 66 (PA66) using microwave technology.


The project, launched jointly with Microwave Chemical (Osaka, Japan), reportedly aims to establish a commercial chemical recycling process of PA 66 using microwaves. From the process, the monomers hexamethylene diamine (HMD) and adipic acid (ADA) will be recovered with low energy consumption and high yield and reused to produce new PA66, it says. PA66 plastic is used, for example, to make plastic parts for automotive and electronic products, as well as yarn for airbag fabrics. Until now, recycling PA66 has been considered a major challenge, the project partners said. Microwave Chemical has now developed a chemical recycling process that uses the company's "Play Wave" microwave technology to depolymerize PA 66 waste from Asahi Kasei and directly recover the monomers HMD and ADA, is said. The target substances could be directly and selectively heated with the process at high energy efficiency. Laboratory-scale studies would have confirmed the effective depolymerization as well as the principle of the separation and purification process after depolymerization. With partners from the value chain, both companies want to establish an effective and more sustainable material cycle for PA66, the report adds. To collect basic process data for commercialization, a lab-scale demonstration plant is to be be set up in Osaka at Microwave Chemical's site by March 2024. A decision to commercialize the technology is expected to be made by fiscal 2025, according to the two companies.


  •, Plasticker (April 28, 2023)
  • Graphic: © Asahi Kasei

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