Recycling textiles: the use of ionic liquids in the separation of cotton polyester blends†
Textiles are commonly made from intimate blends of polyester and cotton, which makes recycling very difficult. We report for the first time the use of ionic liquid in the separation of polyester cotton blends. By selective dissolution of the cotton component, the polyester component can be separated and recovered in high yield. This finding presents an environmentally benign approach to recycling textile waste.