Did you know that the global population consume around 80 billion pieces of clothing annually? What’s more shocking is that about €140 million worth of it ends into landfill.
Textile waste can cause serious environmental and health problems if not prevented and controlled. That’s why a team of scientists from the Kaunas University of Technology and Lithuanian Energy Institute joined forces and proposed a novel technique to convert lint-microfibers into energy.
Curious to find out more?
Textile Waste Transformed Into Energy
The scientists developed a pilot pyrolysis plant and an advanced math model to calculate the novel technology’s possible environmental and economic outcomes. The results are genuinely intriguing.
What did they find?
The team estimates that by switching lint microfibers made by 1 million people, around 14 tons of oil, 10 tons of char, and nearly 21.5 tons of gas could be produced. That’s some excellent news and a positive perspective for Earth’s future.
“[…] lint-microfiver is a somewhat ‘broken fiber’ textile waste; it has a uniform size and shape, contains a lot of flammable compounds (resulted cotton and polyester elements), its transformation is easier,” explains Dr Samy Yousef, the leader of the inter-institutional team.
New strategy unveiled
However, the team didn’t stop there. The scientists also came up with a math model to estimate the environmental and economic outcome of the novel technique, based on the lint microfibers produced by 1 million people.
Their results show that we could obtain an eco-friendly and profitable strategy if we applied the new method on an industrial scale. For example, the energy from the lint microfiber made by 1 million people has an estimated profitability of approximately €100 thousand.
That would also have a reduced carbon footprint of 42,039,000 kilograms CO2-eq/t of lint microfibers.
Dr Yousef and his team concluded that lint microfibers can be now considered a renewable energy source that increases the general transition of the textile industry and ensures sustainability to a circular economy.