Stockholm restaurant uses apron to capture harmful gas | Inquirer News

2022-05-28 04:29:27 By : Ms. Sasha Ye

STOCKHOLM — A Stockholm restaurant crew is wearing cotton aprons that capture greenhouse gas from the air, in a pilot of a technique that researchers supported by Swedish fashion retailer H&M are developing.

The textile industry has a large carbon footprint, which fashion giants are under increasing pressure to address as the fashion industry struggles to lower its climate impact—and as shoppers become more aware of the environmental impact of clothes. ADVERTISEMENT

The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA), which is partly financed by the H&M Foundation, has developed an amine-containing solution with which to treat cotton fiber, yarn, or fabric — making the cotton pull carbon dioxide gas toward it and capture it, and thereafter stabilize and store it on the surface of the textile.

HKRITA CEO Edwin Keh said his team was inspired by techniques used in chimneys of coal-fired power plants to limit emissions.FEATURED STORIES NEWSINFO Escudero: Marcos’ picks for economic team show PH ‘headed in right direction’ NEWSINFO Sent to prison, NBN-ZTE deal whistleblower has no regrets NEWSINFO PH scraps pre-departure RT-PCR test for fully vaxxed, boostered tourists

“Many power plants have to scrub as much carbon dioxide as they can out of the air before the exhaust is released,” Keh told Reuters. “We thought, ‘Why don’t we try to replicate that chemical process on a cotton fiber?’”

HKRITA has developed a number of innovations aimed at making fashion more sustainable.

One that has reached industrial scale use is a technique to separate cotton and polyester fibers in blend textiles.

The aprons in the pilot were produced at an H&M supplier in Indonesia, using the factory’s existing equipment for the treatment.

“It is a fairly simple chemical process,” Keh said.

In the pilot the aprons are heated to 30 to 40 degrees Celsius after use. At around that temperature they release the CO2 into a greenhouse where the gas is taken up by plants.

H&M Foundation said the innovation could potentially be a game changer in the reduction of global CO2 emissions. ADVERTISEMENT

But projects to develop CO2 absorbing textiles are still at an early stage, and their potential contribution to lessening the environmental impact of the textile industry remains to be seen.

Keh said the institute would further develop its technology and try to find other uses, along with other ways to use or dispose of the captured CO2.

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