Austria-headed international technology group Andritz AG (ANDRITZ) has recently announced that it has signed a cooperation agreement with the US-based mixed textile recycling technology innovator, CIRC LLC to bundle each party’s expertise in the field of textile recycling and to upscale CIRC’s recycling technology for commercial use. The agreement comes after many months of successful CIRC processing trials in various ANDRITZ research and development facilities.
Located in Danville, Virginia (VA), CIRC has developed and patented textile recycling technology to separate and recover various valuable raw materials contained in most fabrics and used in textile production. This cutting-edge process mainly focuses on the handling of mixed polymer streams, specifically any blend of polyester and cotton.
As part of the agreement, ANDRITZ will engineer, design, manufacture, and start up the process equipment for the first demonstration plant and other commercial textile recycling facilities and provide support in its role as a global technology player.
We have already been very active in the recycling of various waste streams for different industries. We know about the importance of recovering raw materials in order to maintain value. The cooperation with CIRC will enable us to further focus on the rapidly growing textile recycling sector, said Wolfgang Lashofer, SVP and Division Manager of Paper, Fiber and Recycling at ANDRITZ.
CIRC’s mission is to power the clean closet—where one’s clothes are produced from raw materials recovered from a circular textile economy, preserving the Earth’s natural resources in nature. According to the company, its proprietary hydrothermal processing technology is uniquely capable of separating and recovering mixed polymer streams, specifically any blend of polyester and cotton, which accounts for most fabrics manufactured.
In the past year, CIRC’s highly innovative process underwent an intensive development and optimization program at our pilot plant in Springfield, Ohio (OH), leading to production runs on a small scale. Thus, we have seen CIRC’s comprehensive capabilities and were very impressed by their highly skilled recycling experts and open-minded cooperation, said Jorma Latva-Kokko, VP, Mechanical Pulping, in the Paper, Fiber and Recycling division at ANDRITZ.
ANDRITZ is a recognized leader in customized engineering for special technologies and also in optimized solutions for mature industry applications. Through its robust pilot and commercial production testing assets and optimization capabilities, the company can translate unique technology capabilities into market dominance.
ANDRITZ has a global reach, depth of expertise, and a solid reputation for executing world-class projects. The ANDRITZ team is working shoulder-to-shoulder with CIRC to implement our vision of a circular economy for textiles and beyond. We are delighted with the high competence of ANDRITZ’s people, and we are beyond excited for our next chapters together, said Dr Julie Willoughby, Chief Scientific Officer at CIRC.
The duo are focused on the rapid commercialization and growth of CIRC’s patented recycling process. The partners have not yet announced a timeline for building and commissioning the first commercial facilities.