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Recycling of hard-to-treat, post-consumer textile wastes and conversion to insulation material for construction industry using a novel conversion technology.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Insuwaste (Recycling of hard-to-treat, post-consumer textile wastes and conversion to insulation material for construction industry using a novel conversion technology.)

Reporting period: 2014-11-01 to 2015-04-30

This project is designed to scale up and develop a manufacturing process for converting currently unusable post-consumer contaminated fibre waste from carpets and mattresses to a value added thermal and/or acoustic insulation for use in the building & construction industry. This project contributes to reducing the environmental impact of landfill because the post-consumer carpet waste in 2013 diverted from UK landfill for recycling was estimated to be only 107,000 tons. According to data published by Carpet Recycling UK, an increase of carpet waste is estimated to be 400,000 tons p.a.; the amount still going to landfill and/or for incineration is estimated to be 293,000 tons. The total weight of mattresses was calculated by WRAP 550,000 tons p.a. based on the ratio of 58% mattresses to 42 % carpets by weight in mixed residual bulky waste at household waste recycling sites. In the UK, much of this goes to landfill sites at an estimated annual cost of €49.6m while the rest as in much of the EU is incinerated.
A policy recommended in EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), in particular to the UK building Regulation Part L 3.25 is from 2016 (homes) and 2019 (non-domestic), buildings have to introduce zero carbon standards, specifically, using at least 10% of recycled materials in all building projects. This presents an opportunity to use recycled textiles for building products and we have developed a novel method for producing thermal & acoustic insulation material for wall cavity, floor spaces & lofts using the textiles recovered from post-consumer carpets and mattresses. The main challenge with these materials is the perception that they are unsafe for re-use due to contamination. However, our proposed approach not only shreds, washes and airlays the textile into a lightweight, non-woven textile, but also creates a robust, durable insulation felt that is virtually sterile at no additional process cost. Thus the project is in-line with the EC Horizon 2020 work programme of SC5-20-2014/2015.
The overall target for the feasibility study is the elaboration and production of the business plan and project proposal, designed to specify the second phase work needed to bring this technology to market readiness and detail the plan for replication across Europe in phase 3.
A Technical, Economic, Resource and market feasibility study has been completed as per the work programme for the phase 1 project.
The report is complete and will be used in formulating the development strategy for our technology in the future.