Closed loop recycling of textiles
Increasing demand for textiles fibres is difficult to fulfil in a sustainable way. Increasing use of textiles leads also to an increasing amount of textile waste, while recycling of post-consumer textiles as raw material is still in its infancy. Valuable textile raw materials currently end up being incinerated. New upcycling methods will enable textile wastes to become a significant raw material source for textiles during the forthcoming years.
VTT has developed a concept for chemical recycling of cotton. The concept is based on VTT’s proprietary cellulose carbamate process that enables production of fibres with existing viscose factories, but using more environmentally friendly chemistry. Instead of using CS2 urea is used to solubilize cellulose. The regenerated CCA fibres are similar to viscose and can be used for the same application areas from clothing to technical textiles. The preliminary carbon footprint as well as techno-economical evaluations showed that the process needs further development in order to make fibres comparable with competing fibre sources, i.e. virgin cotton and viscose fibres. Currently this technology is being transferred from a laboratory- to industrial-scale pilot and the aim is to commercialize the concept within the next two years.
Ali Harlin, email@example.com, +358405332179