Recycling process for textile waste using a solvent system with an ionic liquid
The goal of the feasibility study is to develop a recycling process using a solvent system with an ionic liquid to produce a biodegradable and thermoplastic composite from used textiles and a sustainable plant-based biopolymer. Since textile waste is rich in cotton and thus cellulosic fibers, we aim to establish a unique closed-loop method that utilizes this waste material to develop a next-generation material. The resulting polymer composite represents a new class of material, utilizing a resource of which 87% ends up in landfills, 12% enters the second-hand life cycle, and only 1% is recycled through mechanical processes into insulation and other downcycled or end-of-life products. Our process creates a plastic alternative that can either be biodegraded or recycled through our circular, zero-waste chemical method.