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New process recycles cotton

For the first time, new viscose filaments from cotton have been produced by a successful chemical recycling process of polyester/cotton fiber blends. The process is called Blend Re: wind and generates three circular outgoing product streams. Cotton is turned into new high quality viscose filaments and polyester into two pure new monomers.

The project focuses on chemical recycling of polyester/cotton (polycotton) fiber blends with the objective of separating and generating relevant outputs for future industrial use; polyester monomers and a cotton pulp suitable for regeneration into cellulosic textile fibers such as viscose fibers.

Blend Re:wind is a separation process. It is developed having existing industrial processes in mind. The aim is to integrate as much as possible to minimize both environmental and economic costs while boosting businesses. Scaling up from lab scale is the biggest challenge at the moment and it is also costly. The integration possibilities of the Blend Re:wind process would however address these challenges in feasible ways.

The Blend Re:wind process includes high quality of recycled filaments; complete recycling of polycotton blends with pure product streams at high yield; good feasibility with existing industry processes; and strong environmental performance since it is water based and uses only common, cheap bulk chemicals and a catalyst.