complete_process

The ECONYL® Regeneration System

AN INNOVATIVE AND SUSTAINABLE WAY

TO CREATE PRODUCTS FROM WASTE IN A CONTINUOUS LOOP

THE ECONYL® REGENERATION SYSTEM CAN BE ENDLESSLY REPEATED WITHOUT ANY LOSS IN MATERIAL QUALITY

Discover the six production steps

Nylon Waste rescue

Freeing the Earth from Waste

WORLDWIDE
PA6 WASTE RESCUE

Nylon 6 waste is collected all over the world and sent to the ECONYL® waste treatment center in Ajdovščina, Slovenia.

Waste is collected through different initiatives and projects:

  • The ECONYL® Reclaiming Program – Our reclaim managers are expanding the waste collection network, across the globe with operations in the USA, Egypt, Greece, Pakistan, Thailand, Norway and Turkey.
  • The Healthy Seas, a journey from waste to wear initiative – Volunteer divers are recovering abandoned or lost ghost nets from the bottom of the seas in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Croatia.
  • Net-Works™– Founded by Interface with Zoological Society London, it is a social initiative to empower coastal communities in the Philippines and Cameroon to collect and sell discarded fishing nets.
THE WASTE WE RECOVER COMES FROM:

POST-CONSUMER

  • FISHING NETS (spent fish farming nets and ghost fishing nets)
  • FLUFF (the upper part of old, spent Nylon carpets)

PRE-CONSUMER

  • INDUSTRIAL PLASTIC WASTE
  • YARN DISCARDS
  • FABRICS SRAPS (with a special take-back program with Speedo USA)
1

Waste preparation

Where reclaimed waste begins the journey back to its origins.

Storage
and preparation

Just outside the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana lies a small town called Ajdovščina. Here, different types of waste are cleaned and prepared for regeneration. As part of the cleaning process, materials other than Nylon 6 are removed and sent to other supply chains. The cleaned nylon waste is shredded, compacted, bagged and transported to the ECONYL® regeneration plant in Ljubljana.

2

Depolymerization

Creating the miracle: 100% Regeneration

THE ECONYL®
depolymerization plant

What makes this step so unique? The difference lies in a system that produces a high ratio of nylon output compared to waste input and has a radically new purification process.

Compared to mechanical recycling, the chemical one allows us to go back to the state of raw material removing all foreign substances for a 100% virgin quality.

Four years and €25M were spent by Aquafil on the research, development and building of the chemical system and depolymerization plant in Slovenia.

3

Polymerization

From regenerated raw material to Nylon 6 polymers

THE ECONYL®
polymerization plant

The ECONYL® caprolactam – our raw material – that is produced has the same chemical and performance characteristics as caprolactam from raw fossil material. Hence, the process and chemical methods of transforming ECONYL® caprolactam into Nylon 6 polymers – what is known as polymerization – are identical to polymerization of virgin caprolactam.

4

Transformation

A 100% regenerated and 100% regenerable Nylon

From polymers to
carpet and textile yarns

The Nylon 6 polymers produced from ECONYL® caprolactam are distributed to our production facilities where they are processed into carpet and textile yarns.

The ECONYL® yarn can be regenerated over and over for an infinite number of times without any loss in quality.

5

Re-Commercialization

Thinking ahead to create regenerable products

Commercialization
into yarns

Two types of ECONYL® yarns are produced: carpet yarns are used in the creation of synthetic carpet floorings, while textile yarns are used for garments: sportswear, swimwear, socks…

When speaking of re-commercialization, we want to rewrite the rules for producing man-made fibers. The goal is to manufacture products that are not only entirely made of regenerated material, but are fully and endlessly regenerable.

The process starts at the beginning by designing products that are suitable for remanufacturing. It finishes with the collection and regeneration of post-consumer waste. It is a process that forms a closed-loop production cycle in the truest sense.

6
ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS
For every 10,000 TONS OF ECONYL® CAPROLACTAM WE:
SAVE
70
thousand
barrels of crude oil *
* Due to avoiding extraction. Source: Aquafil internal data 2013
AVOID
54
thousand
tons of CO2 eq emissions *
* Source: Aquafil internal data
SAVE
988
thousand
GJ on total primary energy demand *
* Source: Aquafil internal data
ECONYL® BRAND
BY AQUAFIL
> Go to Aquafil.com