Investigation of the biological degradation of textiles made from organic cotton

 

Contracting Entity:

Paptex Textilhandels GmbH

 

Implementation Period:

November 2020 to October 2021

 

Project Description:

This project investigates the biological degradability of textiles made from organic cotton. The complete residue-free degradation is a fundamental requirement for a planned take-back system for these textiles at their end of life.

In this context, a master’s thesis is being conducted at the research group “Waste Treatment and Resource Management” at the Department of Infrastructure, Universität Innsbruck. Aside from researching and describing the present state of knowledge of the biological degradation of textile fibres at their end of life, also up-to-date information on the cascading use of discarded textiles is collected to create the theoretical base of this project. The practical work in the laboratory includes the testing and validation of different methods for the analysis of the biological degradation of organic cotton textiles. Besides the investigation of aerobic and anaerobic degradation behaviour, also micro-organisms and fungi involved in the process will be identified.

Another objective is testing the practicability of the applied methods for use in a long-term monitoring programme of diverse fibres and textile products. Finally, the information obtained in this project will be used for the development of a suitable take-back system for these textiles at their end of life, and their valorisation in accordance with the European waste hierarchy.

 

Contact Information:

Universität Innsbruck
Dr. Sabine Robra
Technikerstrasse 13
6020 Innsbruck
sabine.robra@uibk.ac.at

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