The Green Machine of the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) has won an ITMF Award for Sustainability and Innovation

The Green Machine of the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) has won an ITMF Award for Sustainability and Innovation. While also converting cotton fiber into cellulosic powder for various purposes, Green Machine recovers PET fiber for re-spinning by separation of the mixed textile.

Green Machine is a polyester and cellulose recycling system by hydrothermal treatment and dissolution treatment on cotton and polyester blends. Through decomposing cotton into cellulose powders, it enables the separation of the polyester fibres from the blends. The quality of the polyester fibres is maintained, permitting fibre-to-fibre recycling. Recycled cotton cellulosic powder will be used in re-spinning and agriculture. Based on the research result of phase I development, this project aims to develop the Green Machine into a complete treatment process and an industrial set-up.

Through separation of the blended textile, Green Machine recovers PET fibre for re-spinning, while converts cotton fibre into cellulosic powder for a number of uses, including the re-producing of cellulose composite fibre, cellulosic superabsorbent polymer for cotton farming (Absorboost), and PFC-free function durable water-repellent (DWR) surface finish, hence fulfilling the goal of “end-to-end recycling” where post-consumer textiles are recovered as the raw materials of the production cycle.