Bio-degradable Synthetic Fibres

The disposable and degradable synthetic fibres for textile industry are non-plant based oxo-biodegradable material. The oxo-degradation of synthetic fibres such as polyester are firstly initialised by the synergistic interactions among two or more transition metals. After the degradation by metals to the molecular weight of around 5000 Da, the fibre can be further biodegraded. The developed fibres are able to alleviate the environmental problems caused by waste disposal of synthetic polymers.


The disposable and degradable synthetic fibres can be applied to the production of disposable health care products such as hairnet, mask and isolation gown. It could also produce other degradable nonwoven materials such as filters which have specific expiry dates and need to be replaced periodically.

Industry benefit

Production process of the disposable and degradable fibres is simple and can make use of current manufacturing equipment. As there is no need to apply any plant-based materials into the production, the cost is low while good mechanical and thermal properties are maintained, fostering a diversified development of degradable textile products.

Technological breakthrough

The synergistic effect among two or more transition metals can generate enough energy to overcome the activation energy barrier of synthetic polymers, breaking through the limitation of oxo-biodegradation and extending its application from thin plastic film to synthetic fibres. After over 150 formula tests, it is found that the technique has large potential to be applied to different kinds of synthetic polymers such as polyester.

Licensing Details

A non-exclusive licence covers right to manufacture the degradable synthetic fibres.

The research deliverable is now open for licensing. For more details, please contact us. (Email:; Tel: (852) 2627 0180)


Award Name
Gold Medal with Jury's Commendation in the 43rd International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva (2015)
Related ITF project
Research Start Date 2012-05-01
Industry Partner
Action Nonwovens Company Ltd