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In order to recycle the cotton-based waste textiles, a novel process was designed for pretreating waste textiles with phosphoric acid to recover polyester and fermentable sugar. The effects of pretreatment conditions including, phosphoric acid concentration, pretreatment temperature, time, and ratio of textiles and phosphoric acid were thoroughly investigated. Results indicated the mentioned four factors had significant influences on sugar and polyester recovery. Almost complete polyester recovery was achieved by enhancing phosphoric acid concentration, temperature and pretreatment time or reducing the ratio of textiles and phosphoric acid. However, these behaviors decreased the sugar recovery seriously. 100% polyester recovery with a maximum sugar recovery of 79.2% was achieved at the optimized conditions (85% phosphoric acid, 50°C, 7h, and the ratio of 1:15). According to the technical and cost-benefit analysis, it was technically feasible and potentially profitable to recover polyester and sugar from waste textiles by phosphoric acid pretreatment. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Fei Shen, Wenxiong Xiao, Lili Lin, Gang Yang, Yanzong Zhang, Shihuai Deng. Enzymatic saccharification coupling with polyester recovery from cotton-based waste textiles by phosphoric acid pretreatment. Bioresource technology. 2013 Feb;130:248-55

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PMID: 23313669

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