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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2019-06-01 - 2022-05-31

In Europe, most of the discarded and un-wearable textiles are incinerated or landfilled. Apart from the economic and environmental concerns posed to the society, this also represents a waste of resources since most synthetic fibers contain valuable chemical building blocks. Due to the increasing amount of textile waste, novel recycling methods areneeded which will help in future to reduce the need for landfill space, protect the environment and aquatic resources, reduce global warming and save feedstock resources. The Institute of Environmental Biotechnology is developing novel “textile waste refinery” processes with local companies (within PlasTexTron / EcoPlus Niederösterreich) and with international partners. This environmentally-friendly approach for the degradation of waste fibres into feedstock intermediates is based on enzymes as biocatalysts. However, despite some promising results with enzymes e.g. used in the food industry, the perfect biocatalyst remains to be identified and developed. Hence, for industrial application in textile waste industry, efficient enzymes are needed which will be developed in this PhD thesis by two different approaches: identification of new enzymes for degradation of textile-derived microplastics in aquatic environments and engineering of available polymer hydrolysing enzymes for improved recycling of textiles. Extensive investigation of activities on waste textiles together with companies will prove the potential for application in textile waste recycling.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2019-01-01 - 2022-12-31

Development on 100% bio-based NFC regarding formulations (e.g. fiber types) and processing (e.g. injection moulding and extrusion are in the focus) will be continued. Processes for the post-treatment of moulded parts by brushing, painting, coating, printing will be further evaluated. Extension of the permanent accompanying literature study with reference to new bioplastics and production of filaments for 3D printing.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations