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Products of chemical recycling of synthetic textiles

RE:MIX III: Chemical recycling of synthetic textile blends

Each year the average Swedish citizen throws 7.5 kg of textile in the trash, textiles which are then incinerated. The value of 80 000 tons of textile is hence lost, every year. In the project Re:MIX III, RISE and COWI will develop a new method to utilize this lost resource.

Purpose and goal

  • To optimize a method to separate and recycle synthetic textile blends, focused on blends of polyester, nylon and elastane.
  • To explore possible pre-treatments needed to prepare the textile for separation into high value products
  • To evaluate a possible upscaling of the method for separation and possible pre-treatment into an industrial process


Textile waste is a large and complex waste stream that currently is recycled to a very low degree, but instead ends up in a landfill or is incinerated. The few available recycling methods for textiles does not work very well for textile blends, where several types of textile fibers are found in the same garment. Some such notoriously hard-to-recycle product categories are swimwear, active wear, underwear and pantyhose. Further, these product categories are perceived as intimate and are hence less attractive for reuse, which otherwise is the preferred option to keep the value of textiles.


Through chemical recycling methods synthetic textile can be decomposed into their building blocks. These small molecule building blocks may then be used as a raw material to produce new textile fibers or platform chemicals, thereby replacing fossil oil. By smart design of the recycling method the decompositions products from the different components in textile blends can be separated and recovered.


By development of new chemical recycling methods, the fossil carbon atoms in textiles can be turned into recycled carbon atoms which, in turn, can be used for production of recycled plastics and textiles and therefore diminish our dependency of fossil oil resources.


Project outcomes


Project name

RE:MIX III Chemical recycling of textile




Västra Götaland Region

RISE role in project

Project manager

Project start


1 year


COWI Division Industri i Sverige



Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

12. Responsible consumption and production
13. Climate action
Cecilia Mattsson

Contact person

Cecilia Mattsson


+46 10 228 49 36

Read more about Cecilia

Contact Cecilia
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