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The ReGenWool project focused on chemical recycling of low-grade wool and post-consumer wool waste, and utilizing the recycled materials to generate new materials.

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A transition from a linear economy to a circular one will be necessary to tackle the challenges related to the unsustainable use of finite resources. This transition drives the increased efforts on possibilities to recycle materials. By regenerating a new biodegradable product produced out of low valued materials and/or waste, added value can be created, which can be of importance to farmers and highlight the possibility of creating a new business. 

The ReGenWool project developed a mild chemical recycling process to extract keratin from both low grade wool fibres and chicken feathers. A flexible membrane was regenerated successfully from the extracted wool keratin. The membrane could be used either as free-standing membrane or as a coating on other substrates. The project also achieved textile conversion, where keratin was blended with another biobased material (cellulose) and converted into a new filament yarn. The project also investigated the possibility of converting the yarn into fabrics. 

The project was a collaboration between Helly Hansen AS, Norilia AS, and SINTEF. It was an innovation project financed by the Research Council of Norway under the BIA programme (project no. 269624). 

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Key Factors

Project duration

01/01/2017 - 31/12/2021