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NTU Singapore partners with RGE to explore sustainable solutions for textile waste

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), a global resources-based manufacturing group,  launched the RGE-NTU Sustainable Textile Research Centre (RGE-NTU SusTex) to accelerate innovation in textile recycling and translate research outcomes into practical solutions that can be deployed in urban settings like Singapore.

NTU Singapore partners with RGE
Figure: The research centre, which is situated at NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, was unveiled by Grace Fu, Singapore’s minister for sustainability and the environment.

Researchers in the S$6 million joint research centre will look into areas such as next-generation eco-friendly and sustainable textiles, and refabricating textile waste into fibre.

The aim is to study the chemistry of various textile materials and determine the optimal processes and techniques required to bring us closer to a circular textile economy. This is in line with Singapore’s Zero Waste vision, as well as the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

The research centre, which is situated at NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, was unveiled by Grace Fu, Singapore’s minister for sustainability and the environment.

According to NTU President Professor Subra Suresh “The goal of (RGE-NTU SusTex) is very much aligned with Singapore’s zero waste vision to build a sustainable, resource-efficient and climate-resilient nation.”

Also this partnership between NTU and RGE draws on RGE’s industry experience as a global resources-based manufacturing group and leverages NTU’s intellectual assets in materials and environmental chemistry.

RGE Executive Director, Perry Lim, said “Current textile recycling technologies, which rely on a bleaching and separation process using heavy chemicals, cannot be implemented in urban settings such as Singapore. This is where RGE can help, drawing on our 20 years of experience in viscose fibre making, to provide S$6 million in funding to establish the research centre and fund its work; share our global R&D expertise as the world’s largest viscose producer; and to potentially scale up the viable innovations and solutions across our global operations.”

Backed by Singapore’s strong research ecosystem and leveraging NTU’s engineering capabilities aim to catalyse innovation and develop a first-of-its-kind urban-fit textile recycling solution, he added.

The joint research centre is part of NTU’s ambition and efforts to mitigate the impact on the environment under its NTU 2025 strategic plan, and builds on RGE’s sustainability commitment.

Besides that, RGE plans to build a textile recycling pilot plant that is low carbon, low chemical emissions, and energy efficient in Singapore.

The new sustainable textile recycling solutions developed under the RGE-NTU SusTex are expected to be test bedded in this pilot plant.

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