DITF/Fairbrics: Polyester fibers bind CO2

Polyester fibers bind CO2

(Source: DITF)
(Source: DITF)

Today, polyester accounts for 60% of all textiles produced worldwide and a third of the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emission. By replacing fossil fuel sources by CO2-based sources, sustainable and scalable solution to energy intensive industries can be found.
This is the starting point for the EU-wide collaborative project “Threading CO2”, which is funded under the EU's Horizon funding program. The project will bring products made of environmentally friendly polyester (PET) to market maturity. The technological basis has been developed by Fairbrics SAS, Paris/France. It involves the production of monoethylene glycol (MEG), the starting material for the manufacture of polyester, using CO2 extracted from industrial waste gases. This is a completely new approach, because in the classic process fossil raw materials are consumed for the production of PET. In this way, not only is the release of CO2 into the atmosphere directly prevented. The CO2 also contributes to increased added value by being incorporated into the production of high-quality textile products. The core of the project is the technological upscaling of the new MEG synthesis process in pilot plants, paving the way for industrial production.
Under the leadership of Fairbrics, 17 project partners from 7 European countries are unified with the common goal of producing end products from PET in a closed cycle using industrial CO2 emissions and to bring them to market maturity. The German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research (DITF), Denkendorf/Germany, will take on the task of accompanying the upscaling and taking the step 'from molecule to material': From the sustainably produced MEG, polyesters are synthesized in their own laboratories, spun into fibers, textured and further processed. The aim is to test whether the quality of the polyester and its spinnability and processability in the textile value chain are comparable with conventional PET.
The project partners Faurecia SA, Nanterre/France, and Les Tissages de Charlieu Sarl, Charlieu/France, process the fibers and textiles into car seats and clothing so that the quality can also be assessed in the end product. The subsequent recyclability of the products will also be tested at the DITF. In addition, a security marking is to be developed for this CO2-based polyester to protect it from product piracy.

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