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Photo: EREMA
21.10.2022

EREMA: Circular economy for PET fibres

The textile industry is the third largest consumer of plastics. While growth rates in the production of fibres and textiles are high, the circular economy has hardly become established in this segment. The EREMA Group is now intensifying development of recycling solutions for this application with their new fibres and textiles business unit. Currently, the focus is on PET fibre materials from fibre production and subsequent processing steps. Technologies for recycling mixed fibre textiles from textile collection sources are to follow in a follow-up project phase.

The textile industry is the third largest consumer of plastics. While growth rates in the production of fibres and textiles are high, the circular economy has hardly become established in this segment. The EREMA Group is now intensifying development of recycling solutions for this application with their new fibres and textiles business unit. Currently, the focus is on PET fibre materials from fibre production and subsequent processing steps. Technologies for recycling mixed fibre textiles from textile collection sources are to follow in a follow-up project phase.

"With EREMA's VACUREMA® and INTAREMA® technology and PURE LOOP's ISEC evo technology, our company group already has an extensive range of machines for fibre and PET recycling applications. For ecologically and economically sound recycling, however, new technological solutions are needed to use the recycled fibres in higher-value end applications and to achieve a functioning circular economy," explains Wolfgang Hermann, Business Development Manager Application Fibres & Textiles, EREMA Group GmbH. The initial focus will be on PET, regarded as a key material for the production of synthetic fibres. The aim is to find recycling solutions that allow PET fibre materials to be prepared for reuse in PET fibre production processes. This is a significant step for the circular economy because PET fibres in textiles account for about two-thirds of the total volume of PET.

In this development work, the EREMA Group can build on existing know-how. Proven recycling technologies have been combined with a new IV optimiser. "This extends the residence time of the PET melt, which is particularly necessary in fibre recycling to efficiently remove spinning oils. Our recycling process also increases the IV value of the PET melt after extrusion back to the specific level that is essential for production of the fibre," explains Hermann. Waste PET fibre from production processes can therefore be further processed into rPET filament fibre, carpet yarn and staple fibre.

Fibre test centre with plant to test customers' materials
In order to accelerate development work, EREMA opened its own fibre test centre a few months ago, where a cross-company team is working on recycling solutions for fibre-to-fibre applications.

Source:

EREMA Gruppe

29.09.2022

CISUTAC: New European innovation project on circular & sustainable textiles

Launched this September, the new Horizon Europe project CISUTAC will support the transition to a circular and sustainable textile sector. As part of a consortium of 27 partners working on the project, TEXAID will among others support the project with sorting, disassembly and repair trials.

The production and consumption of textile products continue to grow, together with their impact on the environment, due to a lack of reuse, repair and recycling of materials. Quality, durability, and recyclability are often not being set as priorities in the design and manufacturing of clothing (EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, March 2022).  

CISUTAC aims to remove current bottlenecks in order to increase textile circularity in Europe. The objective is to minimise the sector’s total environmental impact by developing sustainable, novel, and inclusive large-scale European value chains.  

Launched this September, the new Horizon Europe project CISUTAC will support the transition to a circular and sustainable textile sector. As part of a consortium of 27 partners working on the project, TEXAID will among others support the project with sorting, disassembly and repair trials.

The production and consumption of textile products continue to grow, together with their impact on the environment, due to a lack of reuse, repair and recycling of materials. Quality, durability, and recyclability are often not being set as priorities in the design and manufacturing of clothing (EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, March 2022).  

CISUTAC aims to remove current bottlenecks in order to increase textile circularity in Europe. The objective is to minimise the sector’s total environmental impact by developing sustainable, novel, and inclusive large-scale European value chains.  

The project will cover most parts of the textile sector by working on two material groups representing almost 90% of all textile fibre materials (polyester, and cotton/cellulosic fibres), and focusing on products from three sub-sectors experiencing varying circularity bottlenecks (fashion garments, sports and outdoor goods, and workwear).  

CISUTAC will follow a holistic approach covering the technical, sectoral and socio-economic aspects, and will perform three pilots to demonstrate the feasibility and value of:

  • Repair and disassembly
  • Sorting (for reuse and recycling)
  • Circular garments through fibre-to-fibre recycling and design for circularity

To realise these pilots, the consortium partners will:

  • Develop semi-automated workstations
  • Analyse the infrastructure and material flows
  • Digitally enhance sorting operations (for reuse and recycling)
  • Raise awareness among the consumers and the textile industry

As part of the CISUTAC consortium, TEXAID, will conduct different trials of sorting, repair, and disassembly, and be active in the LCA and Standardisation work packages.

Source:

TEXAID Textilverwertungs-AG