Panasonic Uses Catalytic Reaction to recover metals from “mixed plastic waste” from old home appliances

Panasonic has developed together with Kusatsu Electric Co., Ltd. a recycling technology that enables the recovery of metals from plastic-coated wires and plastics used in electric and electronic equipment without causing hazardous side-effects. Using the catalytic properties of titanium oxide (TiO2), the innovative technology facilitates recovery of inorganic substances such as metals by transforming organic substances such as plastics into harmless gases.
Panasonic is successfully using the new technology at the Matsushita Eco Technology Center (METEC) to recover copper from degaussing coils covered with vinyl chloride tape found in CRT TVs. In addition, mixed plastic waste destined for incineration or landfill is treated and changed into non-toxic gases at METEC. The method not only contributes to “zero waste,” but also helps reduce CO2 emissions as little external energy source is required in the gasification process.

Panasonic aims to completely eliminate mixed plastic waste and spread the use of this environment-friendly technology to recycling-related facilities and further to production facilities in and out of the Panasonic group.