Enzymes are used in textile manufacturing as eco-friendly alternatives to harsh chemicals, selectively breaking down specific chemical bonds in polymers for the extraction of purer monomer building blocks. However, efficient enzyme-based recycling is dependent on the specific polymers involved, as different enzymes target different synthetic fibers. Challenges arise when suitable enzymes are not yet discovered, or when fiber blends hinder accessibility and efficiency. Consequently, the adoption of biotechnological solutions becomes imperative. Biotechnology offers the potential for selective depolymerization of both natural and synthetic fibers, isolating constituents or recovering monomers. This advancement addresses the complexities associated with regenerating monomers from synthetic fiber blends, particularly in circumstances involving contaminated or mixed fibers. Furthermore, upcycling discarded fiber products into higher-value items not only diverts waste from landfills but also creates economic opportunities and reduces the demand for new polyester production. The focus of this paper is to explore the potential of biotechnological solutions for enhancing the efficiency of synthetic fiber recycling.
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Biotechnological Solutions for Recycling Synthetic Fibers
Published: 17 November 2023 by MDPI in The 4th International Electronic Conference on Applied Sciences session Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering
https://doi.org/10.3390/ASEC2023-16301 (registering DOI)
Keywords: biotechnological recycling; synthetic fiber recycling; enzymes; eco-friendly alternatives; textile manufacturing; upcycling, fibers