Technological watch

SK chemicals and Huvis to produce polyester yarn with chemical recycling technology

SK chemicals and Huvis will work together to produce “chemical-recycled polyester yarn” for the first time in South Korea.

Recently, SK chemicals and Huvis announced that they will release “(ECOEVER) CR,” a high-quality chemical-recycled polyester yarn that combines their established polyester manufacturing technologies and yarn-related technologies, by the third-quarter of this year. SK chemicals is planning to produce and supply chemical-recycled PET bottles (CR PET) which will be used by Huvis to create “chemical-recycled” yarn products.

As countries around the world are striving to reduce environmental pollution from plastic, global brands have taken notice of environment-friendly trends, and the use of green products created from plastic and textile waste is on the rise. This type of environment-friendly fiber business has emerged as a major product of chemical fiber businesses under ESG management.

“Chemical recycling” is a technology that depolymerizes plastic and textile waste to revert them to a raw material state, which can then be used to produce polymer plastic. Materials produced from “Chemical recycling” have fewer foreign substances than “physically recycled” material, so the strings remain intact during yarn production, which allows consistent dyeing, resulting in high quality yarn.

Huvis is planning to produce chemical-recycled polyester yarn “ECOEVER CR” for the first time in South Korea using chemical-recycled PET (CR PET) supplied by SK chemicals. Huvis created facilities that can produce recycled chips from waste PET bottles within its factory in Jeonju. Using a batch processing system, the company uses the chips as material to produce the recycled yarn “ECOEVER.” When “ECOEVER CR” is released, Huvis will expand its recycled yarn product line to include “ECOEVER CR,” which uses chemical-recycled material and “ECOEVER,” which uses recycled PET material (PCR), to provide the company with a secure and stable material supply chain that is necessary for recycled yarn production.

Kim Bong-sup, head of the yarn division of Huvis said, “The number of consumers who value environmentally-conscious consumption is increasing. Working with SK chemicals allows us to not only expand the use of recycled yarn but also produce additional recycled biodegradable yarn through combining recycled material with biodegradable copolymerization technology of Huvis for a major contribution to the ‘circular economy’ and the pursuit of a sustainable society.”

SK chemicals will expand the petrochemical-recycled product portfolio of copolyesters. The company plans to release and supply chemical-recycled PET bottles (CR PET) “SKYPET CR,” after the previous product “(ECOTRIA) CR,” which is a chemical-recycled copolyester. To that end, SK chemicals secured exclusive rights within the Korean market for chemical-recycled materials and chemical-recycled PET products through investment shares with a Chinese plastic waste recycling business in May. Jung Jae-joon, head of new business development of SK chemicals said, “As awareness for plastic waste grows, whether the product is made of environment-friendly materials is considered a key factor affecting consumer choice. Starting with the green fiber and textile markets to which the chemical fiber industry is paying attention, we are planning to accelerate the expansion of the chemical-recycled PET bottle (CR PET) business.”

Publication date: 03/08/2021

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Last update: 2020-07-14