A new recycling technology has been developed that can produce nanofibres from used PET carpet and bottles that can then be used to create performance apparel products.

As part of a joint effort with Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), Verdex Technologies says it patented spinning nozzle technology converts PCC (post consumer carpet) material directly into nano/micro fibres, which are blended with larger fibres to form products for the apparel and textile markets.

Verdex technology can spin recycled cleaned PET carpet containing polypropylene and calcium carbonate components, the company says, adding this technology has massive potential in the performance apparel market due the nanofibres producing a much stronger Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate (MVTR) compared to competing products on the market.

The vast majority of carpets are sent to landfills each year, and only around 10% are reused or recycled. This represents 2% by weight of American landfill waste, totalling almost 4 billion pounds per year.

"Verdex recycling technology can help alleviate this major problem by taking post-consumer carpet and bottles, and turning these into high value nanofibre media for our customers to enhance existing products or create whole new product lines," says co-CEO Damien Deehan.

"We want to make a real impact in contributing to the circular economy. Verdex recycling technology offers its customers a unique opportunity to adopt a recycling element into their finished products, making it good for the environment, our customers and the end user."

The patented technology for spinning nanofibres uses no solvents – only low pressure air. This provides nonwoven manufacturers with the capability to offer a wide variety of functional enhancements to their products containing nanofibres.

The Verdex process can also spin nanofibres using polymers such as PCL, PLA, PP, PET, PBT, Nylon 66, and possible others if melt viscosity is low. It delivers the fibres in a single step process, which can also incorporate functional particles such as super absorbent powder and activated carbon.

The company is currently scaling its core nanofibre technology to a 1 metre commercial line, with its new facility being headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The facility will also house a laboratory scale line that can be used by customers to run tests for new product innovation and development.