HKRITA wins 2022 R&D 100 Awards

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2022-08-23 18:48:13 – Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel's (HKRITA) Green Machine research project has been chosen as one of the Process/Prototyping category winners of the 2022 R&D 100 Awards.

The R&D 100 Awards, which were established in 1963, are the only science and technology awards program that honors newly released, commercially accessible products, technologies, and materials for their scientific relevance.

Textiles made of cotton and polyester blends can be separated and recycled hydrothermally using The Green Machine. The method selectively breaks down cotton into cellulose granules with the use of heat, water, and less than 15% of a biodegradable chemical, allowing the separation of polyester fibers from blends. The separated fibers are ready for reuse, and the cellulose powders can either be processed into superabsorbent polymer for use in agriculture or into regenerated cellulose fibers and a strong water-repellent finishing reagent.

With a processing capacity of 1.5 tons per day, the first Green Machine on an industrial scale was constructed by reputable textile maker PT Kahatex in Indonesia in 2020. In 2021, ISKO, one of the biggest denim manufacturers in the world, agreed to a licensing deal for the Green Machine.

Edwin Keh, CEO of HKRITA, said that they are delighted to receive the honor. The Green Machine provides a practical way to handle textile waste. From a lab-scale experiment in 2016 to an industrial-scale system today, the technology has advanced swiftly. Their new setup will soon show how it may be improved with elements like automation and smart manufacturing that are now being developed to offer a workable post-consumer recycling solution to built-up places like Hong Kong

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