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Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1107; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101107

Highly Selective Enzymatic Recovery of Building Blocks from Wool-Cotton-Polyester Textile Waste Blends

1
Department of Agrobiotechnology IFA-Tulln, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Institute of Environmental Biotechnology, Konrad Lorenz Strasse 20, 3430 Tulln an der Donau, Austria
2
Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology, Division Polymers & Enzymes, Konrad Lorenz Strasse 20, 3430 Tulln an der Donau, Austria
3
Department of Chemistry, University of York, Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, Heslington Yo105DD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 4 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 October 2018 / Published: 7 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Bioplastics)
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Abstract

In Europe, most of the discarded and un-wearable textiles are incinerated or landfilled. In this study, we present an enzyme-based strategy for the recovery of valuable building blocks from mixed textile waste and blends as a circular economy concept. Therefore, model and real textile waste were sequentially incubated with (1) protease for the extraction of amino acids from wool components (95% efficiency) and (2) cellulases for the recovery of glucose from cotton and rayon constituents (85% efficiency). The purity of the remaining poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) unaltered by the enzymatic treatments was assessed via Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy. Amino acids recovered from wool were characterized via elementary and molecular size analysis, while the glucose resulting from the cotton hydrolysis was successfully converted into ethanol by fermentation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This work demonstrated that the step-wise application of enzymes can be used for the recovery of pure building blocks (glucose) and their further reuse in fermentative processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: textile recycling; sustainable processes; protease; amino acids; cellulases; bioethanol; poly(ethylene terephthalate); circular economy textile recycling; sustainable processes; protease; amino acids; cellulases; bioethanol; poly(ethylene terephthalate); circular economy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Quartinello, F.; Vecchiato, S.; Weinberger, S.; Kremenser, K.; Skopek, L.; Pellis, A.; Guebitz, G.M. Highly Selective Enzymatic Recovery of Building Blocks from Wool-Cotton-Polyester Textile Waste Blends. Polymers 2018, 10, 1107.

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