Sustainability and Society

The textile sector has an important impact on the environment. The ecological footprint (water, energy, carbon) can be quite big depending on which materials and processes are selected to manufacture certain textile goods. Also societal aspects play a big role, such as the fast fashion industry, that stimulates consumers to “throw away” perfectly good textiles. It is clear that action needs to be taken to drive sustainable developments in our sector. At CTSE, we try to do our part and perform research into different areas of sustainability. This goes from more optimizing the energy efficiency of manufacturing, the analysis of natural materials and auxiliaries, use of water-borne and solventless production routes, recycling different textile waste streams, and so on. Furthermore, we disseminate our results not only to academic and technical partners, but are actively involved in different educational projects that help train the textile engineers of the future. A glossary of some of our current research topics is given below.

Thermoresponsive polymers for environmentally friendly electrospinninggreen electrospinning

How we can make the future of electrospinning greener

Thanks to their solubility in non-toxic solvents, thermoresponsive polymers help in making electrospinning a more eco-friendly production process for crosslinked or non-crosslinked nanofibers with varying affinity for aqueous media.

The recycling of waste acrylic textiles (European H2020 project REACT)React: recycling acrylic

We are removing chemical finishes and colorants from waste acrylic textiles to develop a sustainable mechanical recycling process.

Ion-exchange nanofiber membranes for electrochemical water treatmentIon-exchange nanofibers

Solving environmental challenges with nanofibers

The use of stand-alone ceramic nanofibers as ion-exchange membranes for electrochemical water treatment applications leads to improved chemical resistance and fouling properties.

Hybrid nanofibrous membranes with superior properties for advanced wound dressingsHybrid nanofibrous membranes with superior properties for advanced wound dressings

Creating the ideal environment for improved healing using nanofibers

Engineering hybrid nanofibrous membranes that combine superior moisture regulation with controlled antimicrobial action and conformability will significantly advance the preparation of widely applicable multifunctional wound dressings.

Multi-scale design for polymer engineering and recyclingPolymer Engineering

Molecular scale driven research to design polymer synthesis, modification and recycling.