Fulgar, an Italian specialist in the synthetic fiber sector, has recently started a European-based partnership with chemical group BASF. The result of the partnership is the new sustainable Q-Cycle yarn born from the interaction between BASF’s ChemCycling recycling project and Fulgar’s textile expertise.

Nylon manufacturing machines at Fulgar
Photo: Fulgar
Nylon manufacturing machines at Fulgar
Q-Cycle is a new post-consumption recycled polyamide 6.6 that offers the same benefits of lightness, strength and resistance of regular nylon.

In a process called pyrolysis, BASF’s technology partners turn post-consumer plastic waste into a secondary raw material called pyrolysis oil. This oil then replaces the same amount of fossil raw materials at the beginning of the chemical production process. The share of chemically recycled material is allocated to the final product by using a third party audited mass balance approach.

The technology can be applied to plastic waste that cannot be mechanically recycled for technological, economic or ecological reasons, as well as end of life tires.

Fulgar has decided to use polymer produced out of recycled raw materials from old tires, as these are usually incinerated, resulting in significant CO2 emissions. In Europe, for example, 1.37 million tons of tires (40%) cannot be recycled every year.
Old tires
Photo: Fulgar
Old tires
This project offers double benefits as it helps recycling post-consumer waste materials that would otherwise end up in landfill or being incinerated, while it is also self-sustaining, as the part of the waste that cannot be turned into raw material is pyrolyzed into gas that can be used to generate the energy required for the process.

Q-Cycle by Fulgar can be easily processed like a normal polyamide, so it combines with all fibers, though it is produced according to sustainable criteria.

The fiber has excellent moisture management performance, this feature allows keeping the skin cool and dry. Fabrics and clothing made of Q-Cycle by Fulgar have the same levels of solidity as those made with virgin polyamide, while maintaining the same dyeing and production processes.

The fiber is now in an evaluation phase for certifications like Life Cycle Assessment, and ISCC Plus certification - International Sustainability & Carbon Certification. It is compliant with Oeko-Tex STD 100 Class I appendix 6 standards and rated by the HIGG Index system.




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