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REcycling of waste ACrylic Textiles

Project description

New method to manage waste of acrylic fabrics

Extremely durable and able to repel water, acrylic fabrics are widely used for outdoor awnings and patio furniture. However, to have the required characteristics for such use, it is needed to apply chemical finishes to the acrylic fabrics, so as to increase the hydro and oil-repellency, the resistance to UV and to fire. This makes the management of acrylic textile waste tricky. The EU-funded REACT project is developing an eco-friendly process to remove the hazardous chemicals from the finishing substances (fluorocarbons, melamine and acrylic resins, anti-mould agents), which affect the secondary raw material purity and their management. A mechanical recycling process will follow to obtain second life fibre and fabrics. The goal is to reduce the amount of landfill and incineration of acrylic textiles by at least 30 % for the outdoor sector (awnings and furnishing).


Recycle is a common word used always more and more but continues to be low in the EU, while landfill and incineration rates remain high. One of the major problems is to have secondary raw material similar to virgin one. This is because of contamination, treatments, and so on, that lowen product performance.
The REACT proposal will address the management of waste acrylic textiles coming from outdoor awnings and furnishing. A clue issue is the analysis and removal of finishing substances (fluorocarbons, melamine and acrylic resins, anti-mold agents) that affect the secondary raw material purity and their management. Then a mechanical recycling process will be implemented to obtain second life fiber and fabrics, which performance will be tested for best application.
A full environment friendly process to remove hazardous materials on finishing of waste acrylic textile will be investigated and developed to enhance their recycling, improve sustainability and reduce environmental and health risk. The removing of finishing products via chemical reaction will involve the combination of many factors and has never been studied in this sector.
Final goal is a fully compatible recycled acrylic textile for reuse and guidelines for hazardous chemicals removing from finished textile with innovative investigation techniques.
The main objectives of this proposal, 36 months long, are therefore: to remove those substances up to 93%; re-use the acrylic textiles as raw material for other production cycles, also in combination with virgin fibres to reach 3,300 tons total of waste prevented from disposal; reduce the amount of landfill and incineration of acrylic textiles of at least 30% for the outdoor sector (awnings and furnishing).
At the end of the project, we aim to set recommendations on the design and manufacturing of materials for recyclability and on the recycling process for standardization of the whole process, that would be applied on other sectors.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 873 250,00
Piazza sant anna 2
21052 Busto arsizio

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Nord-Ovest Lombardia Varese
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (7)