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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Advanced Separation Methods to Facilitate a Circular Economy for Textiles


Material Measurement Laboratory, Materials Measurement Science Division

opportunity location
50.64.31.C0716 Gaithersburg, MD

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Amanda Lattam Forster 301.975.5632


NIST researchers are working to facilitate a circular economy for many products and materials, including textiles. A circular economy (CE) approach aims to extend the life of textile products through reuse and repair and keep end-of-life (EoL) materials in the economy through recycling. Currently, only 15% of waste textiles are diverted for reuse or recycling. To facilitate recycling, there is a critical need to develop and refine advanced separation methodologies for common fiber blends, such as cotton, polyester, and elastane. Developing methodologies to recover and recycle these materials, which are in increasingly limited supplies will become even more important in the future. This project seeks to identify and evaluate new methodologies for separation of common fiber blends that allows for each component to be reclaimed for future use. Our goal is to develop and transfer to industry a methodology that permits separation of common fiber blends (e.g., cotton and elastane) without significant energy or environmental costs.

  • Jia, Fu, et al. "The circular economy in the textile and apparel industry: A systematic literature review." Journal of Cleaner Production 259 (2020): 120728.
  • Sandin, Gustav, and Greg M. Peters. "Environmental impact of textile reuse and recycling–A review." Journal of cleaner production 184 (2018): 353-365.
  • Niinimäki, Kirsi, et al. "The environmental price of fast fashion." Nature Reviews Earth & Environment 1.4 (2020): 189-200.
key words
Circular economy; textiles; fibers; sustainability; recycling; polymer; separation


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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