The development of market-ready CO2-based textile products

Frontal view of a garment fabric

Project details


Start: 01.10.2021
End: 30.09.2024

Project Initiator/Sponsor

  • German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
  • Innovation Space “BioTexFuture”

Project Partners

  • Institut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University,
  • Zimmermann GmbH & Co. KG (Weiler-Simmerberg),
  • medi GmbH & Co. KG (Bayreuth),
  • Schill+Seilacher GmbH (Böblingen),
  • Oerlikon Textile GmbH & Co. KG (Remscheid),
  • adidas AG (Herzogenaurach)


The aim of the project is the development of commercially viable elastic filament yarns made from TPU containing CO2. At the end of the project, these yarns should be processed as easily as possible in existing industrial plants to make textile pre- and end products. ¹


In order to develop a stable and reproducible melt spinning process for TPU yarns containing CO2, modifications are being made to spinning plants. These include the investigation of spinnerets, filament cooling, godet surfaces and winding technology. In addition, spin finishes are being adapted to the process and tested. The developments are scaled up from pilot to industrial scale. If the production of suitable yarns is possible, the process chain for the production of sports and medical textiles will be investigated and adapted. This includes the processes of covering, knitting, and finishing. Finally, the use of TPU yarns containing CO2 is evaluated ecologically and economically.²

Carbon Minds’ Contribution

Carbon Minds is responsible for creating a detailed model of the production chain of CO2-based textile products. To develop this model, energy and mass balances for all relevant production steps will be collected in cooperation with the project partners and on the basis of scientific literature, from the production of raw chemicals to the textile end-product. On the basis of these mass and energy balances, we are creating a process model of the CO2-based textile products, which makes it possible to analyze the environmental impacts of the products in detail. A special focus of the work is on the comparison of the two different spinning processes dry spinning and melt spinning.

At a later stage in the project, the environmental impacts of CO2-based textile products will be compared with the same fossil-based textile products (for example, those based on polyester, polyamide, or elastane). To this end, suitable reference products will first be defined in close consultation with the project partners. It is important that the conventional and CO2-based textile products have comparable properties and fulfil similar functions (e.g. their use in t-shirts or socks). We will then do a detailed, cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment for the production of the reference products . Based on the results, a comprehensive comparison of the environmental impacts in various impact categories (e.g. climate impact, toxicity, etc.) is then possible, which will allow for an evaluation of the ecological improvement potential of the novel products.


Aline Anuch Kalousdian


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