Project Database

Study of a New Technique for Separation of PET and Cotton from Blended Textiles

Today, most textile and apparel waste ends up in landfill or for incineration rather than being recycled. One of the most significant barriers to textile recycling is the lack of commercially viable separation and recycling techniques for fiber blends. In this work, we aim to develop a new separation technique for polyester/cotton blends in order to recover the recyclable materials with good quality. Unlike the prior studies, which focused on using toxic organic dissolving solvents and/or high treatment temperatures for fiber separation, our approach will be based on promoting overall aqueous suspensibility of cotton cellulose in the blends. As a result, the process can be run in ordinary equipment at lower temperature using water medium, offering a way for cost saving and minimizing negative impact on recycled materials’ properties. The research will go through detailed studies and optimizations on different promising systems with the goal of achieving greener conditions as well as possibly good yield and high purity of the polyester and cotton residues.

Project No. (ITC) ITP/080/18TP
Project Type Seed
Project Co-ordinator Dr. YAO Lei
Research Institute The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles & Apparel Limited
ITF Amount HK$ 2,800,000
Start Date DD/MM/YY 2019-03-30
Completion Date DD/MM/YY 2020-09-29