In Sweden, we consume 130 million kilos of clothes and home textile per year, which is equal to 14 kg per person and year. Swerea offers expertise and develops mechanical and chemical methods in the area of textile recycling.
Textile recycling techniques
In order to use the textile material to its full potential before it is finally sent to incineration a variety of recycling techniques are required. Recycling of textiles is normally divided into mechanical and chemical recycling, which are two completely different processes that have different prerequisites and result in different materials.
Some materials can be recycled mechanically into new textiles, while others find a better use as reinforcing materials. Other materials fractions can be chemically recycled to high quality fibre of the same quality as virgin material and in some cases, if the textile contains toxic chemicals, it may be better and more efficient to incinerate.
Competence and equipment
Swerea develops mechanical and chemical methods with the aim that the material is recycled into new fibres for the production of new textiles or other types of products. Swerea can offer services using a wide range of equipment, e.g. a pilot scale textile tearing machine, a pilot plant for wet spinning as well as equipment for melt spinning and meltblown. This, together with our expertise in product and process development and analysis of textiles and nonwovens, plastics and composites combined with chemical analysis and life cycle assessments, makes it possible for us to identify optimal area of use for textile waste.
Who can use our services?
We offer our services to manufacturing companies with a production waste which they would like to make use of, as well as local authorities wishing to investigate possibilities with textile waste. Furthermore, we work in many research projects to further develop sorting and methods for recycling of textiles.