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The Brewery - biological method

This project is part of the Recycling Revolution program, and explores a biological method to recycle blend textiles.
In this step, the enzyme solution will be added to conduct the hydrolysis reaction.
Separating cellulose powder and glucose solution from PET fiber.
The dried cellulose powder.
Separated PET fiber to the left and the original blended material to the right.
From left to right, the bacteria turns the cellulose into liquid and separates it from the polyester.

Even though blend textiles makes up the majority of the clothes we wear, there is no method available today on how to recycle these garments at scale. In our program with HKRITA, we are exploring different recycling methods, with the goal to find at least one method that can be scaled up and used widely by the industry.

With the biological method, we want to use low energy and low impact methods to effectively recycle used materials. The method consists of four steps:

  • Pre-treatment to modify the structure of the textile waste
  • Bio reactor process
  • Liquified glucose is generated from the cotton
  • The polyester is separated and respun into reusable yarn

The research project is currently being undertaken at HKRITA’s lab in Hong Kong.

SUMMARY
Focus area: Planet
Project: Part of Recycling Revolution
Country: China (Hong Kong SAR)
Partner: HKRITA
Project period: 2016-2020

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