Textile and Plastics Recycling pilot plant

A new circular economy concept: from textile waste towards chemical and textile industries feedstock.

Producing secondary raw materials from textile and plastic waste

Pilot plant – Resyntex partially results from Horizon 2020 project Resyntex, rearranged and optimized by IOS’s own R&D resources and followed up by national demonstration-pilot project Poly Circularity finishing in 2023.

The aim of Poly Circularity is to develop innovative technologies for chemical and biochemical degradation of waste packaging and textile for the production of quality secondary raw materials (gasses, chemicals, oils/fuels, biopolymers).

IOS just received EIC accelerator grant for »OpenLOOP recycling technology« project that will enable sustainable and profitable development and scale up of the proposed recycling technology under this use-case.

This technology delivers a novel chemical recycling technology that:
-Can be used to degrade pure PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and CELLULOSE waste streams as well their mixtures and blends
-As a final output yields high-value feedstock
-Is environmentally friendly using clean technologies
– can be successfully implemented to the industrial environment.

Potential risks are:
– technological: fail to optimize industrial processes in the scale up from lab to industrial plant
– commercial: slower market entry due to high investment requirements/long investment cycles, high market prices of secondary raw materials
– regulatory: no standard accreditation procedures in place for chemical recycling

Expected impact:
– enabling unlimited recycling loops,
– transforming textile/plastic waste recycling into profitable business opportunity,
– delivery of valuable sustainable platform chemicals,
– providing textile industry the opportunity to generate new revenues through the fulfilment of environmental/recycling regulatory obligations.

The pilot plant owned by IOS Ltd. which is at the core of the use-case has the ability to recycle non-wearable textile waste into valuable source for new chemical feedstock and/or green polymers. It enables recycling of textile waste (cotton, wool, PET, PA and mixtures/blends). Currently the plant is in the process of upgrading for recycling of plastic and paper packaging. PET depolymerization of plastic and textile waste is ready to jump to the market. For cellulose recycling technology is in the process of optimization.

Characterization of the end products can also be done together with LCA or LCC analysis:
• Glucose juice as an intermediate for e.g. BioEtOH, 5HMF, Levulinic acid, Furfural
• Terpenoids
• 5HMF
• levulinic acid,
• terephatlic acid (TA).

Water purification system represents the part of pilot plant and enables more than 80% of water to be recycled and used again. In the same manner all other chemicals as well enzymes are recycled and reused.
The pilot plant consists of two high-pressure and high-temperature reactors, bio-reactor for enzymatic degradation and peripherical equipment (i.e. automatic chemical dosing system, filtration/separation systems, waste water cleaning system).

Potential end-users:

  • Textile, furniture and plastics companies using green polyester
  • Biofuel-using companies (bio-ethanol, hydrogen)
  • Coatings industry
  • Chemical industry
  • Paper mills

Initial Investment for the scaled-up industrial installation:
The recycling technology is producing outputs of a high market value, therefore the investment into plant results in 10-years Return Of Investment (ROI) period (calculation for a plant of yearly capacity of 1.500 tons and lifetime of 25 years).

Personnel, Maintenance and Operational Costs:
Team working on technology development and investment into demo plant equipment is the most prominent cost groups, followed by sub-contracting cost relating to software development and expert consultancy (technological & business).

List of potentially income sources:
– Licensing fee
– Services (maintenance, support, optimization)
– Sale of secondary raw materials
– Financing technology operations (e. g. environmental engineering)
– Sale of technology units

Payback scenarios
Recycling technology is environmentally sustainable recycling technology that enables profitable recycling of blended PET-CELL waste. Technology aims to transforming PET-CELL waste management into a profitable business. OpenLoop enables material to material recycling. Its outputs are non-fossil based high-value platform chemicals with limitless emerging use potential (i.e. biodegradable plastic, herbicides, plasticizers, textiles, antifreeze; formaldehyde replacement …). Limitless cheap feedstock (waste), process efficiency and high market value/potential of these chemicals are the basis of technology’s profitability.


  • Institute for Environmental protection and Sensors
  • Beloruska ulica 7, SI-2000 Maribor
  • +386 (0)2 333 56 62, +386 (0)2 333 56 64