Title: Development of a recycling process for textiles made from PET, and proof of its environmental preference with life cycle assessment

Authors: Lynn Luedemann; Andreas Felber; Marcus Golder

Addresses: Institute of Materials Handling, Conveying and Plastics Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Chemnitz University of Technology, Reichenhainer Straße 70, Rühlmann building, 09126 Chemnitz, Germany ' Institute of Materials Handling, Conveying and Plastics Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Chemnitz University of Technology, Reichenhainer Straße 70, Rühlmann building, 09126 Chemnitz, Germany ' Institute of Materials Handling, Conveying and Plastics Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Chemnitz University of Technology, Reichenhainer Straße 70, Rühlmann building, 09126 Chemnitz, Germany

Abstract: Recycling belongs to the strategies for reducing the emission of carbon dioxide, which is one of the main causes of climate crisis. Instead of being recycled, textiles made of synthetic fibres are still mainly disposed by waste incineration or landfill, this means, that textiles currently have to be made of virgin material. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is mainly used for fibres (60%) and for bottles (30%), but there only exist different recycling processes for PET-bottles. Within the frame of a governmentally-founded project, a new recycling procedure for textiles was explored. The goal was to get staple fibres out of the textile waste by simultaneously maintaining their properties. Different technical steps were tested and a robust process chain was elaborated. Secondly the proof of the ecological preferability with the help of life cycle assessment (LCA) was provided. The environmental impact could be reduced up to 60%. Finally, the successful use of environmental product declaration is proven.

Keywords: recycling; fibres; PET; life cycle assessment; LCA; environmental product declarations; EPDs; life cycle costing; LCC.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2022.10045710

International Journal of Technology Management, 2022 Vol.88 No.2/3/4, pp.134 - 154

Received: 01 Jul 2020
Accepted: 15 Mar 2021

Published online: 11 Mar 2022 *

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