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Current recycling strategies and high-value utilization of waste cotton

New publication by Lu, Linlin; Fan, Wei; Meng, Xue et al.


The rapid development of the textile industry and improvement of people's living standards have led to the production of cotton textile and simultaneously increased the production of textile wastes. Cotton is one of the most common textile materials, and the waste cotton accounts for 24% of the total textile waste. To effectively manage the waste, recycling and reusing waste cotton are common practices to reduce global waste production. This paper summarizes the characteristics of waste cotton and high-value products derived from waste cotton (e.g., yarns, composite reinforcements, regenerated cellulose fibers, cellulose nanocrystals, adsorptive materials, flexible electronic devices, and biofuels) via mechanical, chemical, and biological recycling methods. The advantages and disadvantages of making high-value products from waste cotton are summarized and discussed. New technologies and products for recycling waste cotton are proposed, providing a guideline and direction for merchants and researchers. This review paper can shed light on converting textile wastes other than cotton (e.g., bast, silk, wool, and synthetic fibers) into value-added products.