Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Matsushita Eco Technology Center announced on February 26, 2008, that they successfully developed a technology to recover metals from organic substances by decomposing organic substances into harmless gases with the use of a catalyst. This technology makes it possible to recover metals such as copper from mixed plastic waste, including metal-mixed plastics or plastic-covered wires, during the recycling of old home appliances.
In addition to the ability of this technology to process mixed plastic waste, most of which is now incinerated or disposed in landfills, into gases, the technology requires little energy because the self-reactive heat generated during the process helps to accelerate gasification. That means that carbon dioxide emissions from processing can be reduced.
The Center has started to recover copper from PVC-coated metal wires such as degaussing coils used in CRT TVs by using this technology, and at the same time, processes mixed plastic dust into harmless gases.
Matsushita aims to improve the performance of the system so that it can process all the mixed plastic dust generated in the center. The company plans to introduce and sell the system to Matsushita group firms, as well as other recycling or manufacturing firms, in the future.
source: Japan for Sustainability