Renewable High-Performance Fibers from the Chemical Recycling of Cotton Waste Utilizing an Ionic Liquid

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A new chemical recycling method for waste cotton is presented that allows the production of virgin textile fibers of substantially higher quality than that from the mechanical recycling methods that are used currently. Cotton postconsumer textile wastes were solubilized fully in the cellulose-dissolving ionic liquid 1,5-diazabicyclo[4.3.0]non-5-enium acetate ([DBNH]OAc) to be processed into continuous filaments. As a result of the heterogeneous raw material that had a different molar mass distribution and degree of polymerization, pretreatment to adjust the cellulose degree of polymerization by acid hydrolysis, enzyme hydrolysis, or blending the waste cotton with birch prehydrolyzed kraft pulp was necessary to ensure spinnability. The physical properties of the spun fibers and the effect of the processing parameters on the ultrastructural changes of the fibers were measured. Fibers with a tenacity (tensile strength) of up to 58 cN tex−1 (870 MPa) were prepared, which exceeds that of native cotton and commercial man-made cellulosic fibers.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3250-3258
Number of pages9
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

ID: 9505393