Fairbrics, this French company that wants to turn CO2 from factories into clothes

T-shirts produced from CO2 emissions from factories: this is the innovation brought by Fairbrics. Founded in 2019, this Paris-based company specializing in green chemistry has developed a patented technology platform that converts CO2 emissions into polyester coils. “We use CO2 in industry. In return for the recovery of these emissions, we have a stock of raw materials at close to zero cost.” Its president Benoit Illy explains to AFP. A win-win solution since the manufacturers “They potentially don’t have to pay a carbon tax and can report on their commitment to reduce their emissions.”

If the young shot has not yet signed a contract, he claims that he has “There was a lot of talk about petrochemicals” and “He started talking to steel producers.” On the client side, it has established at least three partnerships – with H&M, Aigle and On-Running – “paying part of our development”, says the leader.

Fairbrics advocates the benefits of polyester, a synthetic fiber. “Unlike cotton, which is a natural fiber but has a disastrous impact on the environment, it can be produced very efficiently using very little water and resources.”, Benoit considers Illi. Its technology compared to fiber currently on the market, “Reduces carbon footprint by 70%.”

The European Union’s ambitious plan to approve CO2 sequestration

A factory in Europe, not in Asia

Fairbricks aims to establish a pilot plant in Antwerp, Belgium by mid-2024. “We will recover the CO2 in the petrochemical platform of its port. This pre-industrial phase will allow us to produce 1,000 T-shirt equivalents per day.” Benoit Illy is happy.

Later, to build a full-scale factory “ several tens of millions of euros, the company will have to start a new fundraiser. He earned 22 million euros in mid-January. 17 million comes from a European Union grant through the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, and the remaining 5 million from Fairbridges partners.

According to the leader, his innovation is profitable in any case. “We have projections that allow us to calculate that we will have a cost close to twice the cost of producing petroleum-derived materials at the same price. Brands said it was acceptable because there was an environmental benefit.” he assures.

It was originally planned to be produced in Asia, but the team eventually changed its mind, preferring to produce in Europe “For the European market”. “What is complicated is the price of energy, which is much more expensive in Europe than in China. But since this technology requires less labor (technicians and engineers), we will be able to be competitive even with European salaries.” Benoit believes Illy. Fairbricks, on the other hand, has to license its technology to the US and Asia.

Researchers suggest forcing fossil fuel producers to bury tons of CO2

Scientists warn of urgent need to eliminate CO2

A study published last week suggests that CO2 sequestration projects are currently insufficient to meet international climate goals and will therefore require massive and rapid development of innovative technologies.

This survey, led by the University of Oxford, looked at the means of keeping CO2 in the atmosphere for long periods of time. For example, with newer methods such as reforestation or direct capture of CO2 in the air. It seems that innovative technologies such as the Climeworks plant in Iceland, which removes CO2 directly from the air, are extremely marginal for the moment. But they will have to grow “quickly” Researchers consider staying in the clutches of the Paris agreement. According to the scenarios, by 2050 their capabilities should be increased by 1300 factors or even more.

The researchers insist, however, that these methods should not be regarded as a magic wand that refuses to reduce emissions. “Reducing emissions must always be a priority,” Emily Cox of the University of Oxford noted.

(via AFP)