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Renewcell dissolves natural fibres into biodegradable pulp

renewcell diagram

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Sweden
City: 
Kristinehamn

Language for original content:

Scope:

Start/End date: 
06/2017
Ongoing: 
Yes

Re:newcell - Harald Cavalli-Björkman

Contact details

Description: 

Before a shirt is worn for the first time, it goes through more steps than most customers realise. Often one producer makes the yarn, another knits or weaves it into textile fabric, and a third makes the shirt from the fabric. Now it’s ready for the customer to wear.

When garments are worn out or no longer wanted, some are sold second-hand or used as hand-me-downs, but the vast majority end up in landfills or are incinerated. Far too few are recycled due to the fact that cotton and viscose can’t be recycled to a satisfactory standard on a large enough scale.

Renewcell's technology dissolves used cotton and other natural fibres into a new, biodegradable raw material: renewcell pulp. It can be turned into textile fibre, be fed into the textile production cycle and meet industry specifications. This is the link that has been missing from the cycle, and will enable the way fashion is produced and consumed to be transformed into a never-ending loop.

In June 2021, the European Investment Bank lent Renewcell up to €30.75 million. Having proven that their concept works, Renewcell will use the EIB loan to build their first full commercial-scale textile recycling plant, able to produce 60 000 tonnes of pulp per year, at the Ortviken industrial site near Sundsvall.

Main activity field:

Main results: 
  • Renewcell's technology transforms cellulose waste into pulp: renewcell pulp. It is an efficient process that reuses chemicals
  • The technology was first tested in the demo plant in Kristinehamn, Sweden, producing 7 000 tonnes of biodegradable renewcell pulp each year and running on renewable energy
  • In June 2021, the EIB lent Renewcell up to €30.75 million to build its first commercial-scale factory in Sundsvall
  • Named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies 2021
  • Circulose® was included on TIME Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Inventions 2020
  • If one kilo of clothing is recycled instead of being produced from virgin sources, it saves thousands of litres of water and cuts down on CO2 emissions.