Mitsui Chemicals Spearheads Development of Advanced Carbon-Neutral Naphtha Cracking Tech

In an ambitious move towards carbon neutrality, Mitsui Chemicals has partnered with Microwave Chemical and Chiyoda Corporation to develop a pioneering naphtha cracking technology, the M-Cracker. The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) adopted this initiative under its program for advancing research, development and social implementation of energy-saving technologies to realize a decarbonized society.

Japan’s petrochemical industry annually produces 60.18 million tons of CO2, with ethylene plants contributing 51.5% of these emissions. This necessitates an immediate and innovative response.

Mitsui Chemicals, committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, is leading the charge with multiple initiatives. The M-Cracker is a significant part of these efforts. Originally developed by Microwave Chemical, this technology revolutionizes the naphtha cracking process by shifting the energy source to microwave heating. This innovative method allows direct heating of the reaction field, distinguishing it from conventional procedures.

As part of the collaborative project, Chiyoda Corporation aims to improve the M-Cracker using its advanced catalytic naphtha-cracking technology. Mitsui Chemicals envisions this new technology could be utilized in decomposing alternative feedstocks to naphtha, like bio-based raw materials.

Mitsui Chemicals, with its extensive experience of operating Japan’s largest ethylene plant, along with Microwave Chemical’s expertise in scaling up microwave processes and Chiyoda Corporation’s considerable experience in EPC business for ethylene plants, are jointly working to increase the profitability of ethylene plants globally. This venture signals a significant stride toward carbon neutrality in the chemical industry.

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