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Upcycling of waste textiles into regenerated cellulose fibres: impact of pretreatments
journal contributionposted on 2020-05-03, 00:00 authored by Yibo Ma, Lucas Rosson, Xungai Wang, Nolene ByrneNolene Byrne
Due to several factors including textile waste accumulation and the use of environmentally harsh chemicals, the textile industry has become the second worst polluting industry worldwide. Therefore, significant effort is currently underway to find solutions to reduce this impact. In this study, coloured waste cotton fabrics were regenerated through a wet spinning process into new coloured fibres, hence recycling not only the fibre materials but also the colour. The impact of pretreatments on the colour retention and degree of polymerization of waste cotton-based fabrics was investigated in terms of the degree of polymerization of the waste cotton, the rheological properties of the spinning dope and the ability to maintain the original colour of the waste fabric. The spun fibres showed mechanical strength similar to commercial viscose fibre. The colour from the original fabric was retained under selected acid pretreatment conditions.