Project Database

Dry Separation of Disentangled Protein, Cotton/ Cellulose and Synthetic Fibers by a Triboelectric System

The fashion industry is consuming more resources than is sustainable due to the growth of fast-fashion trends. Mass-manufactured fast fashion items often end in in landfills once they are consumed and out of style. The recent hydrothermal separation process and system developed by HKRITA represents an important breakthrough for textile recycling, allowing the separation of textile materials (e.g. PET and cotton) from their blends. However, the process does not recover protein (i.e. wool) fibers, which are one of the most valuable fiber materials. The main idea behind this project is to use the triboelectric effect to separate mixed fibers. Prior to separation, the mixed fibers will be disentangled. The mixed fibers considered will contain wool fibers, cotton/cellulose fibers and synthetic fibers, such as PET and acrylic fibers, importantly wool fibers included. The process will be a dry separation process. No water or chemicals will be involved in this method. This means that the recovered fibers do not need to be cleaned and dried up before use. The recovered fibers may be blended with virgin for making new clothing.


Silver Medal in Special Edition 2021 Inventions Geneva Evaluation Days
Project No. (ITC) ITP/067/18TP
Project Type Platform
Project Co-ordinator Mr. KEH Yee Man, Edwin
Research Institute The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles & Apparel Limited
ITF Amount HK$ 4,816,000
Start Date DD/MM/YY 2019-03-01
Completion Date DD/MM/YY 2022-02-28
H&M Hennes & Mauritz (Far East) Ltd
IP Number