Turning Trash Into Treasure Shinko Tecnos. Co., Ltd. IP

Website: Shinko Tecnos. Co., Ltd. (Japanese)External site: a new window will open.
Category: Machinery

Shinko Tecnos is showing the world that the things we throw away aren't just meant to be recycled, but transformed

One of the greatest problems that the world faces is what to do with the immense amount of waste that it produces, and simply throwing it away is no longer an option. Shinko Tecnos has developed a technique that makes it possible to reclaim needed materials from garbage, and in some cases, even turn it into fuel.

As Shinko Tecnos. Co., Ltd. President Mamoru Kimura explains, the Aichi-based company got its start making machinery for the clothes dyeing industry, but now develops products that transform mixed waste into something useful.

The firm's products use a method called hydrothermal treatment, and as the name implies, the secret is in the steam. Garbage is treated by heating it to about 220ºC and subjecting it to an environment of 2.5 megapascals. Under this intense heat and pressure, organic garbage can be turned into organic fertilizer (using their HY series), while mixed garbage or garbage containing plastic can be transformed into solid fuel.

Shinko Tecnos. Co., Ltd. President, Mamoru Kimura

One of Shinko Tecnos's plastic-to-oil machines, courtesy of Shinko Tecnos. Co., Ltd.

Powering the Communities of the Future

In Japan, Shinko Tecnos' products are used mostly by companies that handle industrial waste, but Kimura explains that the way that their hydrothermal treatment products are being used on a project in Indonesia is his greatest point of pride: “We partnered with a developer in the city of Tangerang, just outside of Jakarta. There, we have built a plant that converts mixed garbage into a substance that can be dried out and used for fuel. It smells a little like coffee, but we produce enough of it to not only make the plant self-sufficient, but the city can sell the excess fuel for a profit. The project was entirely achieved by Indonesian workers, and the machinery was assembled there.”

Shinko Tecnos has plants operating in China and Vietnam, one of their plastic-to-oil machines is being tested at a university in Saudi Arabia, and in Japan, both plastic-to-oil and garbage-to-solid fuel devices are being used. The company holds patents for its technology in Japan and China, and has recently filed for patents in Indonesia. The company is also continuing to refine and improve its technology by taking on new technical challenges. And hearing Kimura explain the possibilities, it can sound like listening to an alchemist of old. In addition to being able to convert plastic into oil, their machines are able to uncover the riches of what Kimura calls “urban mines”: used mobile phones and electronic equipment. The plastic components of this e-waste can be melted down for oil, while the residual metals can be used again.

Taking On New Challenges in Waste Recycling

One of the things that makes Shinko Tecnos stand out from other companies that make similar products is a byproduct of their willingness to experiment and challenge themselves. “We know how to adjust our machines to work in a wide variety of conditions, and with a broad mix of waste materials. We aren't just looking to sell machines, we want to meet the needs of the communities with whom we share our technology.”

As they are chiefly a technology company, Shinko Tecnos is looking to develop partnerships like the one they established in Tangerang, where logistics can be handled by a local party, and for investors who can help contribute towards research that can benefit the entire planet.

Based on interview in February 2016

The newly built hydrothermal treatment plant in Tangerang, Indonesia, courtesy of Shinko Tecnos. Co., Ltd.