We valorize textile waste.

Together we contribute to a circular economy.

Millions of tons of textile waste are generated every year

The textile industry is today one of the largest industrial polluters and accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions. This is estimated to increase to 25% by 2050.

The global production of apparel and other textile fiber materials amounted to more than 120 million tons annually in 2019. A large amount of these textiles will currently end up as textile waste. Only 12% of all virgin textile fiber material is at present recycled.

To ensure a more circular economy and to reduce the environmental impact of the textile value chain we need to implement recycling of textile waste at a much greater scale. Furthermore, a large part of textile wastes, such as worn or repeatedly recycled cellulose-based fiber textiles, cannot be used to produce regenerated textile fibers in a sustainable or economical manner.

That’s why we started ShareTex.

What happens to the discarded textiles?

More than 80% of all produced textiles are eventually disposed of as waste, while only approximately 20% are separated and sorted for recycling or reusing purposes.

Approximately 70% of the textiles discarded as waste are landfilled, while the rest are incinerated. In the case of fabrics reclaimed for recycling/reusing, roughly half of them are recycled, 40% are sold as second-hand clothing and the remaining ends in waste streams.

There are many explanations for the low degree of recycling. One of the major difficulties for the recycling of textiles has been the need to sort waste textiles by fabric type. This is problematic as fiber blends are common in all sorts of textiles and efficient sorting and collection are still in its infancy.

An advantageous aspect of the ShareTex process is its ability to handle fiber blends (cellulosic, polyester, polyurethanes etc.). However, mechanical and/or chemical sorting upstream the ShareTex process is always preferred.

120

Million tons in
global production
of textiles in 2019

57%

Textiles that end
up in landfills

12%

Textiles that
are recycled

ShareTex is part of a circular economic model.

We create new value from textile waste that has no or limited economic use.

Thereby, we contribute to the sustainability of the textile industry value chain and reduce its environmental impact.

Solutions & Products
Background

The core of the ShareTex process is the conversion of low-quality recycled cotton or viscose into a pure cellulose or into renewable carbon fine chemicals

ShareTex targets the valorization of the cellulosic fractions in textile waste streams that cannot technically or commercially be effectively transformed into valuable products. Instead, we transform them into a pure cellulose pulp, a sugar solution of glucose, or renewable chemicals such as 5-chloromethylfurfural (CMF) .

Sugar and CMF are platform chemicals that can be used for further conversion into numerous fine chemicals. Although the most widely known sugar conversion process is fermentation into ethanol, there is a long range of other base chemicals that can be manufactured from textile waste-derived sugar. Ultimately, these low carbon footprint chemicals can be used for various end products, both in the making of new textiles and advanced biofuels.

ShareTex has trademarks and a strong portfolio of patent and patent applications along the value chain from textile waste to end products.

Solutions & Products
Examples of final products

sharetex-cellulose

Pure Cellulose has many uses, for example as raw material for producing new textile fibers in personal care products, food products, bioplastics and many more. Pure cellulose derived from waste textiles can also be used for manufacturing derivatives such as cellulose ethers or dialcohol cellulose.

sharetex-butanediol

1-4 Butanediol is a primary alcohol, and an organic compound, with the formula HOCH2CH2CH2CH2OH. It is a colorless viscous liquid. 1,4-Butanediol is used industrially as a solvent and in the manufacture of some types of plastics, elastic fibers (e.g. Elastan and Spandex) and polyurethanes.

sharetex-caprolactam

Caprolactam (CPL) is an organic compound with the formula (CH2)5C(O)NH. This colourless solid is a lactam (a cyclic amide) of caproic acid. Global demand for this compound is approximately five million tons per year, and the vast majority is used to make Nylon 6 filament, fiber (used in the production of carpets), and plastics

sharetex-CMF

5-chloromethyl furfural (CMF) is a versatile raw material for many applications including polyethylene terephtalate (polyester) through precursor para-xylene (px), purified terephtalic acid (PTA) as well as numerous commodity and speciality chemicals including furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), surfactants, plasticizers and many more.

sharetex-ethanol

Ethanol has many uses and applications, including as a solvent, as a biofuel, and as a precursor for biobased polyethylene. Ethanol can efficiently be upgraded to aviation fuels by dehydration, oligomerization and hydrogenation.

Process
Primary Process

How recycled, worn-out cellulosic fibers and fabrics are turned into something useful

The main step in the ShareTex process is a proprietary decrystallization step that allows to produce a pure cellulose pulp from cotton, viscose and other cellulose-based textile waste. Thanks to this technology, we can use textiles that has been recycled several times as well as provide renewable chemicals for different applications. Thus, the ShareTex process contributes towards increased sustainability in two value chains: the fashion and the chemical industries.

Process
Integration of waste textile processing in pulp mills

Integration of waste textile processing in pulp mills

ShareTex AB is also developing the possibility to integrate the production of dissolving pulp from textile waste within the operations of a pulp mill. The process would provide high quality dissolving pulp from cellulose-based textiles and virgin wood, while reducing the capital and operational expenditures in comparison to existing textile recycling processes. The lower costs arise from the symbiotic relationships between the processes in terms of energy, material flows and know-how. The process will be based on co-processing both pulps, that derived from textiles and that obtained from virgin wood, in the bleaching plant. Moreover, spent chemicals from the pulp mill operations can be used as pretreatment agents to make the textile waste more amenable to chemical or biochemical conversion. On top of this, the energy required in the textile recycling process can be supplied with the excess heat available at the pulp mill.

We can’t do this on our own.
Change requires joint efforts.

“The low transparency and complexity of the textiles supply chain will require collaboration of all actors to create a common innovation agenda, to identify and focus on priority processes where safe alternative options do not yet exist. Collaborative action is needed across the whole industry to create system-level change”

— Ellen McArthur

About Us
Who we are
sharetex-lars-stigsson

Lars Stigsson

CEO

Lars is an experienced entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of establishing new companies within the forest and chemical industry sector. Lars is the founder or co-founder of ShareTex, TreeToTextile, SunPine, KIRAM and HydroHorizon. Lars holds a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Institute of Technology at Lund University. He was Polhem prize laureate in 2018.

sharetex-patricia-salén​

Patricia Salén

Business developer and CEO assistant

Patricia was a member of the General Assembly of Sveriges Ingenjörer 2019-2020. She was a research intern at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi in 2019 and an intern at Vinnova in 2018. Patricia is studying engineering in biotechnology at Umea University in Sweden.

sharetex-miguel-sanchis-sebastia​

Miguel Sanchis Sebastia

CTO

After studying chemical engineering in Spain, he did his PhD studies at Lund University at the Department of Chemical Engineering. During his PhD studies, Miguel explored the production of biofuels/biochemicals from residues that are otherwise left unused, such as animal bedding and waste textiles.

About Us
Associated researchers and consultants

sharetex-edvin-ruuth​

Edvin Ruuth

Edvin is a PhD student at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Lund University. As the main part of his PhD-studies, he is focusing on researching and developing new methods to recycle and revalorize waste textiles.

sharetex-ola-wallberg

Ola Wallberg

Ola is professor at the department of Chemical Engineering at Lund University. Ola has a long experience in advanced fermentation process technology, chemical process design and process development.

sharetex-dr-tomas-larsson

Tomas Larsson

Tomas Larsson holds a PhD in physical chemistry from Stockholm University and is a principal scientist at RISE and an adjunct professor at KTH. Tomas has a long-standing professional experience in the areas of advanced structural characterization of cellulose and cellulosic materials.

sharetex-hanna-de-la-motte

Hanna de la Motte

Hanna de la Motte is a researcher at the department of Chemistry, Biomaterials and Textiles at RISE. She is also focus area manager within RISEs Business and Innovation Area Material Transition. Hanna holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Chalmers University of Technology, and did her M.Sc. at the Department of Chemistry at Lund University. She has broad expertise in material recycling (mainly textiles / plastics), cellulose science and characterization of fibers.

sharetex-dr-hans-grundberg

Hans Grundberg

Hans Grundberg, works as a senior consultant at MoRe Research and holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Institute of Technology at Lund University. Hans have a long industrial experience within the biorefinery sector specifically relating to chemical pulping and regenerated cellulose fiber process technology.

sharetex-anna-von-schenck

Anna von Schenck

sharetex-niklas_berglin

Niklas Berglin

Anna von Schenck and Niklas Berglin are Partners in the consulting firm NiNa Innovation, which assists ShareTex in developing and managing strategic projects. Anna and Niklas have long experience from working with development and upscaling of biorefinery processes and the development of strategic relationships between companies entering new value chains.

Investors

As industries, policymakers and consumers all over the world are asking for efficient ways to recycle used textiles, the ShareTex process is gaining interest worldwide. Check back for more investor related information shortly.

FAQ

What are the raw materials for the ShareTex processes?

The raw material consists primarily of textiles which can no longer be further recycled (technically or commercially). These end-of-use waste textiles comprise a large fraction of worn-out cellulosics (cotton, viscose).

What are the main process steps in the ShareTex process?

The core step is a decrystallization step wherein the cellulosic polymers in the fabrics are liberated. The product cellulose can be used as such (dissolving pulp) or be further converted to cellulose derivatives or into a sugar solution.

What are the typical steps upstream the ShareTex process?

A crude waste textile material stream is advantageously sorted and then mechanically or chemically treated to separate synthetic fibers and fabrics from cellulosic fibers and fabrics.

What can the sugar solution which is produced in the process be used for?

Sugar is the feedstock for the synthesis of many industrial products and intermediates, the most well-known being ethanol. Fine organic chemicals can also be produced such as for example CMF or 1,4-Butanediol, which can be used in the production of polyurethanes (Spandex, elastane) or caprolactone, caprolactam and Nylon 6.

What is the yield of sugar or CMF from waste cotton or viscose?

Since both cotton and viscose substantially consists of cellulose, with only minor fractions of impurities, the yield and selectivity towards formation of glucose (the building block of cellulose) is high, over 90%. For CMF we also reach high yields.

Which acid is used to catalyze the depolymerization of the cellulose polymer to sugar?

A strong mineral acid can be used alone or in combination with solid acids. The acid is recycled minimizing the need for effluent neutralisation and downstream secondary treatments. Hydrolysis can also be performed with enzymes.

What about colorants and textile finishing chemicals in the garmets?

Dyes and pigments are removed in appropriate parts of the process, depending on their chemical composition and how they are bound to the fiber. Colorants can be removed either upstream or downstream the decrystallization step.

What are the next steps towards commercial launching of the process?

A large scale demo trial with a toll chemical manufacturer is planned for in H2 2021.

What is the market potential for the ShareTex process?

There are several hundred million tons of cotton and viscose garments which were produced in the last decades that should be recycled for a high-end use. In addition, 25 million tons of cotton and 5-6 million tons of new viscose is produced every year. When these fibers are recycled, their quality is reduced. Eventually, the fibers become too worn down to be recycled once more. Here, ShareTex can be a link in the chain going from linear to circular business models in the textile industry.

What are the economical drivers for ShareTex?

We are, together with the chemical industry, converting a stream consisting of recycled textiles, into a dissolving pulp or into premium value organic platform chemicals. The market for biological- and waste-derived low carbon footprint fine chemicals is already large and is growing. The overall market for butanediol is, for example, projected to reach over EUR 10 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 7.7%. The market value of certain ShareTex product compounds is over two times higher per ton than dissolving cellulose pulp or other traded cellulose commodities. This means that the ShareTex operator can pay more for the textile waste and thereby motivate collection and attract volumes both locally and imported.

Interested in cooperating with us?

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