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Deakin University researchers can recycle jeans into joint cartilage


Advanced textile recycling methods can see how jeans are converted into artificial cartilage for joint regeneration.

Scientists from Deakin University, Dr. Nolene Byrne and PhD student Beine Zeng have devised ways to dissolve denim and turn it into aerogels that can be used to make cartilage biology, water filtration materials and is used as a diaphragm in advanced battery technology.

Dr. Byrne says denim recycling technology can help contribute to the fight against textile waste.

"Textile waste is a global challenge with significant environmental impacts, and we have been working for more than four years to solve this problem with a viable textile recycling solution," she said. With population growth and the development of third world countries combined with today's fast textile waste cycle, textile waste is on the rise, resulting in millions of tons of clothing and other textiles being burned. or buried in the landfill. "

Dr. Byrne said the Deakin Institute's Frontier Materials team has used uprecycling to address cost efficiency.

One of the downsides of textile recycling is that any advanced technology requires the use of chemicals, which can make the process less cost effective. The team uses environmentally friendly chemicals, and by recycling up to produce more advanced materials. Now the group is in pilot phase, and will move to commercial scale within 3-5 years with the support of the industry.

The process has evolved because cotton denim, a natural polymer from cellulose. Cellulose is a versatile renewable material, so scientists can use liquid solvents to dissolve denim and reconstitute aerogels, or many other forms. Aerogels are advanced materials with very low specific gravity, sometimes called "freezing smoke" or "solid smoke", and because of its low specificity, they are excellent materials for biological frames. whether absorbed or filtered material.

Dr. Byrne says she believes the sticky nature of cellulose denim solutions is likely to explain unique aerogels, making them the ideal material for use in artificial cartilage.

Aerogels can be printed in 3D, and the team can now shape and adjust aerogels to adjust the size and distribution of small tubes to make the ideal shape.

According to