Essential Chemicals Research Laboratory

With research efficiency and speed, this laboratory pursues the development of polymers to sustain and expand Sumitomo Chemical’s business. It also develops and improves catalysts and manufacturing processes and conducts polymer structure analysis. The laboratory aims to establish technologies based on the latest science and to create new research areas while upgrading fundamental technologies that support product development, such as polymer design, organic synthesis, catalyst design, analysis of chemical and physical properties, and computer simulation.

  • Polymerization evaluation equipment

Major Research Areas

Development of high-performance polymer materials

  • X-Ray Structure Analysis

To serve the diversified needs of the market and explore higher value-added applications, we have placed great emphasis on advanced material design technology and precise analytical and physical property evaluation methods. We are developing new polymer materials with higher performance and higher functionality.

Development of new bulk monomer manufacturing processes

  • Catalyst Evaluation

We are working on the development of catalysts and processes in order to develop new, more energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly manufacturing methods for bulk monomers, core materials in the petrochemical industry.

Development of solid catalyst technology

  • Caprolactam manufacturing plant

We were the first in the world to develop and scale up a new manufacturing method for caprolactam (the raw material for nylon) without co-producing ammonium sulfate. This process uses a unique catalyst that is composed mainly of silica to produce high-grade caprolactam. We continue to develop new processes that contribute to reducing environmental impact by using new catalysts.

Development of display materials

  • Light guided plates

Methyl methacrylate is a resin used in a wide range of applications, including signboards, automobile tail lights, covers for interior lighting, large-scale water tanks, and miscellaneous goods.
This basic chemical is essential for light guide plates and screen surface materials that are used in all types of liquid crystal displays (LCDs), for which demand has been growing rapidly in recent years.