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Science, textile waste recycling: a new upcoming sustainable technology

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(source wikipedia)

Develop Innovative technology for recycling textile waste more sustainable. study, described in the journalAmerican Chemical Society Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, conducted by scientists from Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT). The team led Youngmo ChoHe has, in fact, pioneered an approach that could revolutionize the recycling of closed-loop textile materials. Experts state that the apparel industry is associated with 10% of annual global carbon emissions. In 2021, scientists say, approx 113 million tons of fiberAccording to current estimates, these values ​​will continue to increase in the coming years. Approximately 90% of the waste associated with clothing is disposed by landfill incineration, which poses a serious threat to the environment and human health, especially in the case of synthetic fibers such as polyester. This specific material makes up more than half of all tissues currently produced, so the Sustainably recyclable polyester It is a fundamental challenge for future security. Researchers have developed a technique called chemical sorting, applied to separate polyester from textile waste that is disposed of in mixed and contaminated form. The process uses a chemical compound that selectively interrupts the chemical reaction between polyester and various dyes. This technology also consumes less energy than traditional methods and also does not require as high temperatures as current alternatives.

Recycling of fabrics such as cotton, wool, polyester, acrylic, nylon, elastane and other blended fibers is now considered inefficient. The researchers then used a cheap, non-toxic, biodegradable compound to chemically separate the polyester from the textile waste. In this way the polyester can be chemically reused. This approach has The possibility of achieving circularity in the recycling of textile materials. “The apparel industry has used PET bottles to produce garments from recycled polyester,” Zhou says. “However, this approach is not sustainable because the material cannot be used after the first use. Our technology is not limited by the complexity of constituent materials or the level of impurities in the waste. It can therefore Our work aims to reduce the amount of waste in landfills, promoting a circular economy in the plastics and textile industries.” The research team is making the process scalable. According to scientists’ estimates, the pilot plant should be ready by the end of 2024, while commercial operation should start in the following year, which could be up to The annual capacity is 10 thousand tons of waste.

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