The FIBER2FIBER project manages to recover, through chemical recycling, the textile fraction of tyres at the end of their useful life for their reincorporation into the value chain.
The GAIKER Technology Centre, a member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance, BRTA, has been in charge of developing the SIGNUS FIBER2FIBER project with the aim of investigating the use of the textile fraction from tyre recycling.
The management of tyres, which are mainly composed of black carbon rubber, steel, textile fibres and a wide variety of chemical products, requires constant research into new ways of recycling and applying them to different uses and destinations, as it is not currently possible to incorporate all of their components into the manufacturing chain of new tyres. In this context, the FIBER2FIBER project arises, which aims to achieve the circularity of textile fibres composed of polyesters, in order to incorporate them back into the production chain.
Obtaining the textile fibre fraction free of rubber during the tyre recycling process is very difficult and, therefore, in this research, firstly, the different materials that make up the waste have had to be separated in order to subsequently be able to recover the textile fraction composed mainly of polyester by chemical recycling via solvolysis.
With this technology, chemical monomers have been obtained that are suitable for reincorporation into the value chain to develop new textile fibres suitable for use in the manufacture of new tyres. Likewise, the remains of the rubber fraction present in the waste have been recovered.
To achieve this objective, the following tasks have been carried out:
– Characterisation of the materials from end-of-life tyres (ELT) by identifying the components present and their proportion.
– Evaluation of various methods of separating the material fractions, such as rubber, steel and textile fibre, present in the waste for subsequent recycling.
– Assessment of the technical feasibility of chemical recycling via solvolysis of the textile fraction contained in the tyre.
– Implementation of recycling techniques suitable for the textile fraction from the end-of-life tyre, thus contributing to the circular economy model.
– Chemical recycling of the textile fraction present in end-of-life tyres, mainly composed of polyesters, to obtain its chemical monomer by depolymerisation.
– Verification for cycle closure through the synthesis of new polyester from the chemically recycled monomer.
Thanks to the development of this project, it has been possible to recover the polyester from the textile fraction of tyres, allowing it to be recycled and thus reincorporated into the value chain.