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The Rupp Report

The Rupp Report: PCI Fibres Conference In Istanbul

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

Last year, a remarkable PCI Fibres Conference took place in Hong Kong (See “The Rupp Report: PCI Fibres Conference 2013: Excellent Source Of Fiber InformationTextileWorld.com, November 12, 2013). Experts from around the globe discussed the current and the future situation of the global fiber business. In the meantime, changes are going on, and it’s time for an updated overview. The next PCI Fibres Conference will take place in Istanbul, Turkey, Nov. 6-7, 2014. The venue is the Hotel Hilton Istanbul Bosporus. Taking a look at the program, it promises interesting and informative news.
Practical Routes To Sustainable Textiles
According to the organizers, London-based PCI Fibres, the next PCI Fibres Conference will explore practical routes to sustainable textiles, including the ever-growing nonwovens sector. A range of presentations from members of the PCI Consulting Group will cover the various raw materials used to make man-made fibers. Next to these presentations, there will be papers exploring the supply constraints that are gradually emerging in two sectors much favored by retailers and brands: mainly, recycled polyester and the biomass used to make cellulosic fibers — and, in the future, some synthetic fibers.
A New Look At Recycled Polyester
“At one time, most recycled polyester ended up in low-grade plastics and some staple fiber. With the advent of polyester bottles in the 1970s, the situation gradually changed, and a more regular supply of waste helped encourage the production of a range of polyester products — to such an extent that recycled polyester (rPET) became a major raw material source for polyester staple fiber in Europe and in China,” said PCI Fibres Managing Director Peter Driscoll. “In recent years, the Chinese market has also seen some filament production from rPET, often for less demanding applications such as shoe linings; while some leading global brands for soft-drinks have introduced recyclate into their bottles.” He added that the strain that this new demand is putting on rPET supply will be discussed in a presentation by David Swift of the PCI PET Packaging, Resin & Recycling business.
Driscoll also mentioned that recycled polyester is emerging as a significant specialized feed for polyester filament, a topic to be covered by Eddie Ingle from Greensboro, N.C.-based Unifi Inc., which markets the REPREVE® range of high-quality recycled-content textile yarns. Currently, Unifi is expanding its capacity, and Ingle will give a progress report at the PCI Fibres event.
Uday Gill of Indonesia-based Indorama Corp. — an important global polyester producer that is investing in Turkey — also will present a paper. “Indorama has been much involved in the development of polyester filament including yarn from recycled materials, and will give a paper on this as well as its expansion in Greater Europe and North America in specialist filament and staple fibers, as well as nonwovens and, more recently, high-tenacity yarn,” Driscoll said.
Availability Of Biomass
A highly regarded issue is biomass. As regards its availability, another important topic for the retail industry, there is a growing sense that there might be some limits to supply, which has implications for many industries including food, paper and chemicals as well as fibers, Driscoll mentioned. However, biomass is not only a feedstock for viscose, but also a route to producing some of the man-made fibers. Richard Brice of PCI Fibres, a well-known expert in this sector, will direct the discussion in his presentation mainly in terms of the feedstock required to produce viscose fibers.
A paper presented by Robin MacDonald of PCI Nylon will cover a new, close-to-emerging technology that aims to reduce the length of the production chain for nylon (polyamide or PA) polymer — all through the use of a sustainable raw material. Robert Green and Eamonn Tighe from Minnetonka, Minn.-based NatureWorks LLC will provide an update on the biobased Ingeo™ polylactide (PLA) available for fibers and packaging.
Sustainable Nonwovens (?)
Ever since their appearance on the global markets, nonwovens have been having a somewhat bad image and are mainly considered to be only disposable and one-way products. Heidi van den Hul from one of the leading nonwovens manufacturers, Jacob Holm Industries (France) S.A.S., will discuss nonwovens for particular applications, describing the sustainable approach to nonwovens production, especially for hygiene applications.
Traditionally, carpet production has been particularly important to the Turkish economy, Driscoll said, mentioning that this sector will be covered by Alasdair Carmichael from Spartanburg-based PCI Fibres – Americas, who will consider product life-cycle issues.
In addition, Jamil Siddiqui, Ph.D., from Saudi Arabia-based propylene and polypropylene (PP) producer TASNEE’s petrochemical complex in Jubail, will provide market background both on an important fiber in the carpet business, and on a feedstock that is used in the production of acrylic fibers and PP as well as some PA 6,6. The more specialized PA 6 and 6,6 textile filament sectors, such as hosiery and sportswear, will be discussed in a presentation by Paola Corbani from Radici Group, Italy.
A View To The Global markets
As always, the conference will also include interesting papers on global man-made and natural fiber markets, and the economy as a whole, with views on the prospects for 2015. Without any doubt, the conference will again provide first-class information. On top of that, leading producers from all four corners of the world will meet in Istanbul, providing an excellent opportunity to exchange information and networking. So don’t miss being in Istanbul, a fascinating melting pot of Orient and Occident. More information is available at pcifibers.com.
July 8, 2014