European Chemicals Industry supplies European Textile & Clothing industry with textile fibres, 75% of which are synthetic (polyester, elastane, nylon). The European Biomass Industry needs to gain market share to the petrochemical industry as supplier of sustainable biomaterials to the Chemicals Industry. More than 99.9% of the world synthetic fibers are made of non-renewable petrochemical resources. As proclaimed by EURATEX, the access to raw materials (especially cotton, man-made fibres and chemicals) is becoming an “extremely urgent problem for the EU Textiles & Clothing industry”. The steep growth of emerging economies (China, Indi, Brazil) is leading to scarcity and price fluctuations, translated into Textile companies facing huge cost increases.
EcoLASTANE will develop a high quality, 70%-100% bio-based synthetic textile fibres (bio-based elastane and polyester) by optimising an industrial technology that starting from lignocellulosic feedstocks (wood, crop residues, etc) produces 100% bio-based chemicals (furfural, HMF, THF and FDCA). EcoLASTANE will optimise the synthesis of furfural in Europe by increasing yield, reducing costs, recovering solvents and acetic acid, valorising cellulose for the production of HMF (bio-based monomer with a huge potential still not brought to industrial scale) and producing an in-plant burnable bio-char from lignin to generate heat. From furfural we will optimise the synthesis of 100% bio-based THF, a starting material accounting for 70% of the mass of an elastane elastic fibre. From HMF we will develop a new 100% bio-based polyester textile fibre.
Textile products containing EcoLASTANE fibres will have a differentiated, high added value based on:
- inexpensive price,
- identical chemical structure (and thus manufacturing and weaving behavior) to current petrochemical alternatives,
- bio-based content and eco-efficient production.
Our fibres will not need any change of today’s technologies for producing synthetic filaments.