Let’s look at an absolute novelty in material engineering that allows us to limit the environmental impact produced by human waste. Until now, there have been recycling processes for fabrics, but they require a considerable amount of time and energy…
Cotton-based fibres make up the majority of textile waste in landfills. Obviously, this is not a matter of counting the resources consumed in the fields for the cultivation and extraction of cotton.
A technique has been developed to convert worn jeans fibres into reusable cotton fibres. Developed by professors Yibo Ma, Beini Zeng, Xungai Wang, Nolene Byrne of the Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University of Australia, the technique uses liquid salts such as dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as a cosolvent with 1-butyl-3-methylimidazole acetate ionic liquid ([Bmim]OAc) for the dissolution of denim waste. It is well known among the scientific community that the cost of reproducing an ion liquid is really high due to its high viscosity rate. The cost factor is reduced by the introduction of DMSO as well as an additional sodium hydroxide solution.
In summary, it is now possible to recycle the waste denim by creating a regenerated fibre that can retain the colour of the original fabric or by removing the colour, a neutral fibre is obtained.