Technological watch

Circa enables sustainable textile recycling with Textile Change

Norwegian sustainable biochemicals company Circa Group AS (stock symbol: CIRCA) and Danish technology company Textile Change are working together to optimise textile recycling.

Circa’s bio-based solvent Cyrene™ has been successfully tested by Textile Change in the separation and decolourisation of waste textiles into cellulose and polyester. With Cyrene™, Textile Change is expecting to achieve a safe, low carbon, less energy intense process, while ensuring a high yield that will address increasing market demand for recycled textiles.

Ditte Højland, CEO and founder of Textile Change said, “We chose Cyrene™ as the most efficient solvent, with the best dissolution performance, and the strongest sustainability profile. Circa has provided us with a non-fossil alternative to traditional solvents, with better environmental and safety characteristics. This positions Textile Change to meet our future customers’ needs for a renewable source of quality textile materials from a sustainable industrial process.”

The Textile Change pilot plant is currently being commissioned in Denmark with funding from MUDP by the Danish Ministry of Environment. This development is a major milestone for scaling their sustainable technology to yield several thousand tonnes per annum. It will demonstrate that the company has found a commercially competitive way to recycle fibre raw materials from waste textile inputs, without irreparably damaging them, using the least amount of energy, and safer, renewable chemicals in the process.

Circa is changing chemistry for good and has developed a safer and sustainable solvent that is an alternative to toxic, petrochemical solvents such as DMAc or DMI, which are commonly used for this application. Cyrene™ is made from renewable, non-food biomass and its carbon footprint is up to 80% lower than traditional solvents.

Tony Duncan, CEO and co-founder of Circa Group said, “Less than 1% of global textile production is recycled, and a combination of investor, policy, consumer and supply chain pressures is driving change. This creates enormous opportunity for innovators with circular industrial processes. We are pleased to partner with Textile Change as our respective organisations bring technology to scale to meet growing demand for sustainable alternatives in the marketplace.”

About CircaEstablished in 2006, Circa Group converts sustainable, non-food biomass into advanced bio-based chemicals with its proprietary Furacell™ process. Its developing product portfolio includes flavours, biopolymers, and bio-solvents including Cyrene™. By creating renewable chemicals from cellulose, Circa is extracting value from non-food biomass and addressing a gap in the market by providing bio-based, less carbon intensive alternatives, contributing to a more circular economy.

About Textile ChangeEstablished in 2020, Textile Change is a chemical recycler, developing a dissolution technology for fiber-to-fiber recycling of textile waste. The polymer recycling processes based on green chemistry principles can be used for blended textiles including any combination of polyester, natural fibers (cotton, hemp etc.) and regenerated cellulose fibers (viscose, lyocell, etc.) and will enable a circular economy for textiles.

Publication date: 16/03/2023

Author: Marion Kupfer

Bio-based News

This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2022-01-31