Japan: If all goes according to plan at Panasonic, mass production of heat insulation materials through recycling glass used in cathode ray tube (CRT) television sets will be commenced in February next year. Annual output is expected to be approximately 1600 tonnes.
The company has developed a technology that converts glass from CRT televisions into a vacuum insulation material for products such as refrigerators. Dedicated facilities have been created by the Japanese electronics giant at a white goods factory in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, where glass reclaimed from CRTs is crushed and melted, and then processed into a thermal insulating material more generally known as glass wool. This will be used in Panasonic’s own refrigerators at first, although it will consider selling the material to other companies in the future.
With the switch to LCD televisions, roughly 100 000 tonnes of CRTs are expected to be discarded in the near future in Japan. Panasonic estimates that heat insulation for around 300 000 refrigerators can be produced from some 130 000 glass tubes. In addition to home appliances like refrigerators, the insulating material can be used for houses and other cold containers, company officials say.
Panasonic has been selling some of the glass retrieved from CRT televisions at its recycling plant to glass makers both in and beyond Japan. However, the company has decided to recycle the glass on its own because of an inventory pile-up.
Source: Recycling International