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Start-up BioFashionTech from the Northern Netherlands has developed a novel, scalable biotechnology process to upcycle pre- and post-consumer textile waste into commercially valuable products, such as biocomposites and chemicals that can be used in a variety of biological processes, including the production of biofuels such as bioethanol.
Editorial office / Groningen

Nearly 92 million tonnes of textile waste are produced every year and 85% of it is incinerated or ends up in landfills; only 15% of global textile waste is recycled. Current recycling solutions can only process certain types of textile blends, with an average high fibre quality. The final recycled products are new yarns and fabrics.

BioFashionTech devised a solution where textiles are converted to chemicals and polyester and dyes can be recovered for reuse in other industries, such as the fibre-reinforced concrete sector. This creates a closed loop.

The technology uses no harmful substances works efficiently on low-quality coloured textiles and natural/synthetic blended fabrics. In this way, BioFashionTech creates new value chains and promotes environmental and social cross-fertilisation, and is thus a great asset for the development of a sustainable society.

Scaling up

BioFashionTech’s technology is under IP. Currently, the process is being validated in the lab and at small pilot scale (1.5 litres). The company now wants to scale up to pre-pilot (5 litres) and pilot scale (20-100 litres), so that larger quantities of textiles can be processed. For this, partners are being sought in, for example, the bioethanol or fibre-reinforced concrete industries. BioFashionTech is also looking for funding, for example through the Tender Valorisation 2022 of the North Netherlands Cooperation Agency (SNN).

Visit BioFashionTech‘s website for more information.

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