Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 26

The RRS report says that rPET prices
are on the rise and predicts that prices "will
likely continue to go up as competition
increases. To further intensify the price
disparity, virgin PET prices are forecasted
to decrease as oversupply floods the market
from overproduction, and the gap in pricing
between rPET and virgin PET will grow."
As for natural and cellulosic textiles,
mechanical recycling results in shorter,
weaker fibers that must be blended with

ABOVE: Tyton BioSciences'
Subcritical Water Technology
is capable of separating
PET from cellulosic
fiber in mixed textiles.
RIGHT: In addition to PET
polymers, Tyton's recycling
process yields high quality
cellulosic fibers. Photos:
Tyton BioSciences LLC.

virgin fibers. However, fiber blends of
natural and petroleum-based feedstocks
cannot be separated by mechanical
recycling. Industry innovators are
increasingly looking toward recycling
technologies that break down discarded
textiles into their molecular components
and can then be used to generate fibers
said to be comparable to virgin.
Pete Majeranowski, president, CEO
and cofounder of Tyton BioSciences LLC,
a tech company based in Danville, Va.,
that is developing an alternative approach
to textile recycling, describes rPET as
"a Band-Aid."
"If we recycled every PET bottle into
fiber, we'd still have a 60-to-80-million-ton
gap in the world's demand for PET," he says.
Originally focused on plant science,
Tyton BioSciences' founders realized
that there was a stronger market pull to
recycle textiles with their technology.
They developed and patented a waterbased recycling method using subcritical
water technology-essentially using hot
water under pressure as a solvent-to break
down polyester, cotton or blended textile
waste. The results are high-grade cellulose
pulp, used to make viscose or lyocell, and
polyester monomers (terephthalic acid and
ethylene glycol).
"What makes us unique is that we can
use blended textiles, the most available and
cheapest feedstock," says Majeranowski.
"We have nearly 90 percent recovery,
which helps with the economics. Once we
get to scale, our projections show our costs
to be close to that of virgin product."
At Södra Cell Bioproducts in Sweden,
Södra OnceMore™ technology separates
the fibers in blended textiles via a chemical
process. The resulting cellulosic fibers are
combined with cellulose from Södra's wood
processing operation to create high-quality
dissolving pulp for viscose and lyocell.
"The great advantage with our solution
is that it is integrated with the pulp mill,
so all effluents are treated, the polyester

26 REVIEW NOVEMBER 2020

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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020

Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 4
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 5
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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 7
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 8
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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 10
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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 12
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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 26
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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 28
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