Clariant: Recycling of carpets

Recycling of carpets


Although the vast majority of carpets today are made of recyclable woven or tufted materials, most textile flooring still ends up in landfill or end-of-life incineration. This is largely due to the traditional use of a latex, water-based backing which cannot be removed from the pile fibers and creates a difficult-to-recycle material mix.

In a joint collaboration between the specialty chemicals company Clariant International Ltd., Muttenz/Switzerland, and the Fraunhofer Institute IVV, Freising/Germany, the recycling CreaSolv process has been developed achieving zero waste targets. Recyclable Licocene Performance Polymers (LPP) from Clariant deliver the benefits of a hot melt carpet backing. By replacing latex with a 100% solid content backing solution, water and the associated drying process can be fully avoided, adding up to energy savings of up to 80%, as shown in production trials with carpet manufacturers. As a result, no contaminated waste water occurs. The propylene based LPP can be recovered with at least 90% of its virgin quality for re-use via the CreaSolv recycling technology, ensuring a cradle-to-cradle approach. Now, flooring textiles can be recovered and integrated back into production or downcycled into other applications. The whole process provides the missing link for the industry to design fully recyclable carpets.

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