Technip Energies announces the creation of Reju, a new company focused on PET recycling of textiles that will leverage the innovative technology co-developed in joint-venture with IBM and Under Armour as well as Technip Energies’ global engineering and technology integration expertise.
Reju will address the fast-growing market of global rPET whose demand from the textile market is expected to grow up to 20 Mtpa by 2033, driven by industry pledges and targets on recycling, regulation and consumer awareness of the need to reduce plastic waste.
Technip Energies, IBM and Under Armour have been working together since 2021 in a joint venture to bring VolCat, an IBM technology for rejuvenating waste PET packaging and polyester, to an industrial scale. VolCat allows the selective breakdown of polymers which IBM first applied to technologies like semiconductor lithography and microelectronics packaging. Reju intends to use this technology to address hard-to-recycle polyester garments and PET packaging lost to the waste stream today. With this technology, acting as a molecular sorter, PET could be regenerated infinitely.
The groundbreaking ceremony for Reju’s demonstration plant took place in September in Technip Energies Frankfurt Research Center with the facility expected to come on stream in 2024.
Arnaud Pieton, CEO of Technip Energies, commented: “Globally, less than 1% of PET textiles waste is recycled today. This means that most textiles end up as waste in landfills when they could be repeatedly reused in new clothes. What has been holding the world back in textile circularity is not a lack of demand for textile recycling but the lack of a solution that makes recycling of textiles economical on an industrial scale. For the first time in this domain, a unique scalable technology is directly associated with a scalability expert like Technip Energies. Reju will deliver the promise of economical textile recycling, and we are proud to extend our role as an active agent of circularity.”