Washington State University Researchers are working on technology that can spin millions of tons of “wasted” textiles into new fiber for clothing. The aim of the research is to use new technology to keep millions of tons of cotton and cellulose waste out of landfills by spinning it into valuable clothing fiber.
Assistant Professor Hang Liu of WSU’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles Fiber says that more than thirteen-million tons of textiles go to waste every year in the United States, alone, with world-wide consumption on the rise as the growing world population needs textiles for clothing, homes and industries. However, the recycling rate of textile waste is extremely low, with less than 1% of clothing getting recycled into fibers for new clothing, representing a loss of more than $100 billion worth of materials each year.
Liu is partnering with AMDT Associate Professor Ting Chi and Professor Jinwen Zhang, of WSU’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. The project has received a new $120,000 grant, “Environmentally Friendly Cotton/Cellulose Waste Recycling,” with $60,000 of the funding coming from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and $60,000 from the Washington State University Office of Commercialization.