New Innovation from Lithuania – Decomposing Washing Machine Lint as Energy

A team of scientists from Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) and the Lithuanian Energy Institute have presented a method of converting the lint microfibers found in clothes dryers into energy. Besides they developed a mathematical model to calculate the possible economic and environmental outcomes.

Each year, the global population consumes approximately 80 billion pieces of clothing and approximately €140 million worth of it goes into landfill. It is causing large amounts of emissions that  leads to serious environmental and health problems. One of the ways to diminish the clothes footprint is to reduce the impact of laundry.

Dr Samy Yousef – researcher at KTU states that lint microfibers are classified as microplastics which cannot be recycled easily. They are being washed down our drains and enter the seas threatening the environment. That is why lint microfibers from the filters of the drying machines in the dormitories of KTU were collected for the research. Using a pilot pyrolysis plant at the laboratories of Lithuanian Energy Institute, the scientists were the able to extract three energy products from the collected lint microfiber batches – oil, gas and char. When treated thermally, the lint microfibers decompose into energy products with around a 70% cent conversion rate.