Circa’s bio-based solvent Cyrene has been successfully tested by Textile Change in the separation and decolourisation of waste textiles into cellulose and polyester.

With Cyrene, Textile Change is expecting to achieve a safe, low carbon, less energy intense process, while ensuring a high yield that will address increasing market demand for recycled textiles.

Ditte Højland, CEO and founder of Textile Change said: “We chose Cyrene as the most efficient solvent, with the best dissolution performance, and the strongest sustainability profile. Circa has provided us with a non-fossil alternative to traditional solvents, with better environmental and safety characteristics. This positions Textile Change to meet our future customers’ needs for a renewable source of quality textile materials from a sustainable industrial process.”

The Textile Change pilot plant is currently being commissioned in Denmark with funding from MUDP by the Danish Ministry of Environment. This development is a major milestone for scaling their sustainable technology to yield several thousand tonnes per annum. It will demonstrate that the company has found a commercially competitive way to recycle fibre raw materials from waste textile inputs, without irreparably damaging them, using the least amount of energy, and safer, renewable chemicals in the process.

Circa said it is changing chemistry for good and has developed a “safer and sustainable solvent that is an alternative to toxic, petrochemical solvents such as DMAc or DMI”, which are commonly used for this application. Cyrene is made from renewable, non-food biomass and its carbon footprint is up to 80% lower than traditional solvents. Tony Duncan, CEO and co-founder of Circa Group, added: “Less than 1% of global textile production is recycled, and a combination of investor, policy, consumer and supply chain pressures is driving change. This creates enormous opportunity for innovators with circular industrial processes. We are pleased to partner with Textile Change as our respective organisations bring technology to scale to meet growing demand for sustainable alternatives in the marketplace.”