CHEMUP- SPINNING YARN FROM BIOPOLYMERS AND CHEMICALLY-RECOVERED PET

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I + D / Nanotecnología aplicada a materiales textiles. Desarrollo de fibras, hilatura y tejeduría.

 

Year: 2021

 

MOTIVATION


Industrial sectors such as textiles, packaging, automotive, construction and others, consume vast quantities of synthetic polymers, but current systems of production, distribution and use are almost completely linear, creating an unsustainable model of waste generation and accumulation (Figure 1). [1]Furthermore, the vast majority of synthetic polymers are designed for performance and durability, not for degradability and recyclability, which has led to a huge problem of waste accumulation in recent decades. At the end of 2018, of the 62 million tonnes produced in Europe, only 47% of post-consumer plastic waste was recovered, 43% was incinerated, 32% recycled and 25% deposited in landfills or in the environment. [2]

                 

                                Figure 1: schematic representation of the conventional industrial textile system.

More specifically, the environmental impact of the textile industry has become one of today’s most worrying issues. In fact, in 2015, the global textile industry consumed approximately 79 billion m3 of water, generated 1.7 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions (approximately 4.6% of total global carbon emissions), and was responsible for 92 million tonnes of waste. [3]

[1] Was Patwary, S. Consumer Clothing Behavior and Associated Environmental Impact. Preprints, 2019.

Without changes to the current industrial model, estimates indicate that these figures will increase by at least 50% by 2030. Therefore, in order to reduce the accumulation of textile waste and its environmental impact, the new European legislation (EU Directive 2018/851), included in the European Green Pact, proposes a transition from the conventional linear industrial model to a circular model, transforming waste into revalorised products at the end of its useful life.


[1] Ellen Macarthur Foundation

[2] Plastics Europe

[3] Was Patwary, S. Consumer Clothing Behavior and Associated Environmental Impact. Preprints, 2019.

 

OBJECTIVES


With the aim of promoting and facilitating industrial transition from the traditional linear model to the circular economy, the overall objective of the CHEMUP project is to spin yarns from:

  • Biopolymers: PHB, PBS and PLA.
  • Chemically recycled PET textile waste through a glycolysis process.

The expected result will be textile fibres for transformation into high value-added products at the end of their useful life.

 

EXPECTED RESULTS


Through CHEMUP, textile fibres will be created for transformation into high value-added products at the end of their useful life from:

  • Biopolymers: textile fibres from blends of PHB, PBS and PLA will be produced by melt spinning processes to create easily compostable textiles which, at the end of their useful life, will serve as a source of nutrients for the crops used to grow new biopolymers.
  • Chemically recycled PET: from PET waste, through a process of depolymerisation by glycolysis and subsequent polymerisation, the resulting virgin PET will be used in the manufacture of new meltspun textile fibres.

Therefore, based on the principles of the circular economy, the CHEMUP project will enable the production of new textile products, reducing the environmental impact of their production and disposal, and their carbon footprint.

 

 

 

This project is funded by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball de la Generalitat Valenciana, through IVACE.

Additional Information

 

  • Grant number: IMAMCI/2021/1


  • Year: 2021

  • Status: In progress

  • Entity: IVACE
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