Fiber or fibre (British English; from fibra) is a natural or artificial substance that is significantly longer than it is wide. Fibers are often used in the manufacture of other materials. The strongest engineering materials often incorporate fibers, for example carbon fiber and ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene. Synthetic fibers can often be produced very cheaply and in large amounts compared to natural fibers, but for clothing natural fibers can give some benefits, such as comfort, over their synthetic counterparts. Natural fibers Natural fiber Natural fibers develop or occur in the fiber shape, and include those produced by plants, animals, and geological processes. They can be classified according to their origin: *Vegetable fibers are generally based on arrangements of cellulose, often with lignin: examples include cotton, hemp, jute, flax, abaca, piña, ramie, sisal, bagasse, and banana. Plant fibers are employed in the manufacture of paper
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Publications associées (100)

Life cycle assessment of bio-based synthetic fibers: the case of polyester substitutes

Tijana Ivanovic

Numerous studies have shown that the textile sector has a high fossil-fuel dependency, emits excessive amount of greenhouse gases and uses vast amount of water. Currently, polyester (fossil-based) makes up about a half of the industry's fiber production and the volumes are expected to increase. Polyester fiber is traditionally made out of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polymer. In order to break from the fossil-fuel dependency, textile industry has the possibility to use alternative feedstock for the polyester by reverting to bio-sourcing – strategy where the product's carbon backbone comes partially or fully from the bio-based feedstock. The polyester fiber can be entirely substituted in its current uses by three such bio-based substitutes: bio-based PET fiber as a drop-in substitute (chemically identical to the fossil counterpart); polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) fiber as an intra-family substitute with properties comparable to PET fiber and nylon; and polylactic acid (PLA) fiber as a novel fiber without a fossil counterpart and with properties comparable to PET fiber. All of these fibers are produced from the homonymous polymers via melt spinning and their carbon backbone comes partially or entirely from bio-based feedstock. The environmental effects of this feedstock substitution have not been studied abundantly, in spite of the existing political will to prioritize bio-based products, e.g. as the European Green Deal does. This project therefore performs a comparative, cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment of the conventional polyester fiber and these substitutes taking into account state-of-the-art production process. In order to do so Life cycle inventories (LCI) were modelled for 6 different scenarios for bio-based PET, 2 for bio-based PTT and 1 for PLA and were based on public literature and ecoInvent data. Impact assessment was performed by applying two methods – Swiss Ecological Scarcity and European Environmental Footprint, representative of the Swiss environmental policy and of a more scientific classification of environmental and health impacts respectively. The study finds that all three bio-based fibers are produced from the first-generation feedstock (crops). Currently, only the partially bio-based PET and PTT polymers are commercialized, such that the prevailing monomer, purified terephthalic acid (PTA) remains fossil-based for both. Then, monoethylene glycol (MEG) is produced from sugarcane or corn and 1,3-propanediol (PDO) from corn respectively. PLA is a fully bio-based polymer, produced from corn. Bio-sourcing for polyester is found to offer a limited improvement in a small number of impacts (with negligible contribution to the overall score) while causing substantial additional environmental burdens elsewhere (per kg of fiber). Namely, none of the bio-based alternatives perform better than the fossil-based PET fiber on the overall score. However, the partially bio-based PTT fiber may be a viable substitute for nylon (based on lower overall score). In the absence of carbon crediting for bio-based feedstock, climate impacts are found to be worse for the alternatives than the conventional polyester. Eutrophication, acidification, water scarcity impacts and land use rise with fiber's bio-content and largely stem for the agricultural practices (up to 88%, 74%, 97% and 100% respectively). It was also seen that PTA necessitates more precise modeling to raise the certainty of conclusions for the respective fully bio-based PET and PTT scenarios. At this stage, bio-based alternatives have a worse environmental performance than fossil-based polyester. The environmental performance of the bio-based fibers may be increased with alternative feedstock options or with improved agricultural practices.



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Concepts associés (67)
vignette|La Fileuse, William Bouguereau, . vignette|Détail d'un objet tissé. Un textile est un matériau susceptible d'être tissé ou tricoté. Initialement, il désigne donc un matériau qui peut se divi
vignette|Coton, préparé pour une récolte mécanisée par un défanage chimique (généralement par du méthanearséniate monosodique, qui est une source durable et croissante de pollution des champs de coton
Matériau composite
vignette|Multicouche, un exemple de matériau composite. Un matériau composite est un assemblage ou un mélange hétérogène d'au moins deux composants, non miscibles mais ayant une forte capacité d'inter
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Cours associés (47)
CIVIL-449: Nonlinear analysis of structures
This course deals with the nonlinear modelling and analysis of structures when subjected to monotonic, cyclic, and dynamic loadings, focusing in particular on the seismic response of structures. It introduces solution methods for nonlinear static and dynamic problems.
MSE-424: Fracture of materials
This course covers elementary fracture mechanics and its application to the fracture of engineering materials.
MSE-440: Composites technology
The latest developments in processing and the novel generations of organic composites are discussed. Nanocomposites, adaptive composites and biocomposites are presented. Product development, cost analysis and study of new markets are practiced in team work.
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