The Japanese firms Mitsui Chemicals, Microwave Chemical, and Chiyoda are collaborating on a new electrical route to ethylene. Microwave Chemical is developing a process, using microwave radiation, to heat naphtha to the high temperatures required for cracking. Chiyoda will combine the microwave technology with a catalytic cracking process it is researching. Mitsui is a major petrochemical maker. Conventional plants use hydrocarbon-fueled furnaces to generate heat and are responsible for more than 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year in Japan, the companies say.