The New Eco in Isère

The Recyc’Elit start-up, which employs 7 people in Chasse-sur-Rhône, has developed an innovative technology to enable the recycling of polyester clothing. This material, with which plastic is made, is generally impossible to reuse, but the company from Isère has managed to create “chemical scissors” to isolate these components and reconstruct them. Raouf Medimagh, the co-founder of Recyc’Elit, presents this innovation called “AURAreFIL”.

France Bleu Isère: Your company Recyc’Elite has developed a new technology called “AURAreFIL”. Before explaining it to us, can you tell us what problem you had identified in the recycling of clothes?

Raouf Medimagh: As soon as it is a multi-fiber or multi-material textile, we will talk about polyester elastane, for example, as in leggings and sports t-shirts, etc. This material has the unfortunate tendency of not being recyclable. And these clothes, unfortunately, are going to be incinerated or buried today.

And so, that’s where your new technology comes in.

We have developed a solution: to have chemical scissors, very selective to polyester, which will cut these polymers into small pieces, purify them. Once we have purified them, we will be able to put them back together one next to the other and make them into plastic balls again. these balls can be used to make any type of material, including a 100% recycled yarn that has properties identical to polyester.

We can reuse rather than destroy or incinerate, it pollutes less. But is your technology also less polluting?

Absolutely, in fact our solution is fast and low energy. It operates at very, very moderate temperature, we do not exceed 60 degrees and we are at atmospheric pressure. This means that we have controlled energy and therefore a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 40, up to 50% depending on the different scenarios.

How many people are working on this project that you call AURAreFIL?

AURAreFIL involves three structures: Recyc’Elit, which is a start-up, with today seven employees, including three doctors; the metropolis of Grenoble, whose mission is to collect end-of-life clothing; and therefore, Techtera, the textile competitiveness cluster, which coordinates this project.

It is still in its research and development phase today. What’s next for you?

We have very good, very encouraging results and therefore our short and medium term objectives are to get out of the laboratory, what we are going to do by the end of the year to switch to an average pilot and then switch to a slightly larger demonstrator. The objective of this project is to carry out this closed-loop recycling operation in an environment that remains localized in this Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

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