Mitsubishi acrylic screen

University of Nottingham partners with Mitsubishi Chemical to explore microwave acrylic recycling

Monday, 13 September 2021

The University of Nottingham (UoN) is working with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) to explore microwave technology for recycling PMMA (acrylic).

Following agreements announced in 2020 to build a circular economy solution for the material, the new partnership with the university will further support MCC’s goal of identifying a range of complementary PMMA recycling technologies.

“As we work towards building a European recycling plant for PMMA, it is important that we consider all relevant potential technologies. We have already partnered with Agilyx Corporation to use their depolymerisation technology and we are keen to identify additional solutions that could complement the Agilyx process; microwave is one such technology,” said David Smith, Circular Economy Lead, Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates.

“Our aim is to develop the ultimate suite of recycling solutions for our customers, both in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. The partnership with UoN will help us to better understand how microwaves could help us meet this objective.”

#john robinson
“Microwave technology offers great potential to improve the quality of recycled product and enable further options for its reuse in PMMA manufacture, and will reduce the net energy usage.”
Dr John Robinson, from the Low Carbon Energy and Resources Technologies research group

“Working in partnership with Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates, we aim to develop a microwave process that will enable the use of renewable energy sources and reduce the overall number of steps required for PMMA recycling,” said Dr Eleanor Binner, Associate Professor, also from the University’s Faculty of Engineering.

Story credits

More information is available from Dr John Robinson on or Dr Eleanor Binner on or +44(0)115 514092 or Emma Lowry, Media Relations Manager (Engineering) on


Emma Lowry final
Emma Lowry - Media Relations Manager Engineering
Phone: 0115 846 7156
Location: University Park

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

More news…

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798