Italy’s Fulgar is expanding its sustainable range with the establishment of eco-sustainable Q-Cycle® yarn, following the success of its Q-Nova recycled nylon, bio-based Evo nylon, and biodegradable Amni Soul Eco nylon fibers.
The groundbreaking new yarn is the result of a collaboration between Fulgar’s textile expertise with the world’s largest chemical company, BASF, which has created a new process known as ChemCycling™.
ChemCycling converts post-consumer plastic waste into pyrolysis oil, which is then used as a secondary raw material to replace the same quantity of fossil-based raw materials at the start of the chemical production process. A third-party audited mass balancing approach is used to apportion the share of chemically recycled material to the final product.
The technology can be applied to plastic waste that cannot be mechanically recycled due to technological, economic, or environmental constraints, as well as used tyres.
Fulgar chose polymer made from recycled raw materials from old tyres because they are often burnt, resulting in large CO2 emissions. Every year in Europe, for example, 1.37 million tonnes of tyres go unrecycled.
The production of Q-Nova has a dual environmental benefit in that it allows for the recycling of post-consumer waste materials that would otherwise end up in landfill or incineration while also being self-sustaining, as the waste that cannot be converted into raw material but is pyrolyzed into gas is used to generate the energy required for the process.
Daniela Antunes, Fulgar’s head of marketing, said that they want to be a pioneer in building an increasingly circular economy for the textile supply chain. Their goal is to make a tangible environmental contribution. Of course, this includes minimizing the amount of fossil raw materials used, as well as CO2 emissions and water usage during manufacturing.
The production is done in compliance with EU procedures ISO 14040 and ISO 14044.
Q-Cycle polyamide offers the same practical and aesthetic benefits of lightness, strength, and resistance as conventional polyamide, but in a more sustainable form. It can be used to make high-quality fabrics and is as easy to process as other polyamides, so it combines with all fibers.
Dominik Winter, vice president responsible for the European polyamides business of BASF, said that collaborating with firms like Fulgar is the best way to build a model of a sustainable circular economy that also applies to plastic waste, which could not previously be recycled. As a result of this synergy, a polyamide may be utilized to make high-quality fabrics, lowering the quantity of fossil raw materials consumed and offering individual companies products with a lower carbon footprint.
Fulgar, founded in the late 1970s in Castel Goffredo in Italy’s hosiery region, is a leader in nylon 6.6 and coated elastomers for the textiles and technical fabric industries, and its investment in R&D has increased steadily over the previous ten years. Environmental commitment has been demonstrated by supply chain-wide projects such as Q-Nova regenerated yarn and bio-based Evo yarn, developed in collaboration with Evonik.
Fulgar is also the sole distributor of the Lycra, Lycra T400, and Elastan fiber brands in Europe and Turkey, and in 2012 formed a relationship with the Solvay group, becoming the distributor and producer of Emana fiber and Amni Soul Eco primarily for Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. The collaboration with BASF to produce Q-Cycle recycled yarn began in 2021.