The starting meeting of MIDWOR-LIFE project took place in Terrassa (Barcelona, Spain) on Wednesday 30th September 2015.
MIDWOR-LIFE is cofounded by the European Community under the LIFE+ Financial Instrument within the axe Environment Policy and Governance and under the Grant Agreement n. LIFE14 ENV/ES/000670, it started on 1st September 2015 and lasts 36 months with a total budget of 931.850 €.
AEI TÈXTILS, a non-profit organization representing the Catalan technical textiles cluster is the coordinator of the project. The consortium is completed by another 5 partners: 3 research institutes/technological centers from Spain: LEITAT (member of Tecnio network), CETIM and the Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia from CSIC plus 2 technical textile clusters, POINTEX from Italy and CLUTEX from the Czech Republic.
The aim of the Project is to mitigate the environmental, health and safety impacts of current and future Durable Water and Oil Repellents (DWOR) alternatives by analyzing their environmental impact and technical performances in order to assess manufacturers on the best available technologies to provide hydro- and oleo-repellency in textile materials.
The project is motivated due to the environmental limitation regarding the emission of toxic compounds of the existing commercial DWOR textile finishing chemicals: fluorocarbons (C6, C8), hydrocarbons and waxes, and silicones. Near future legislation together with demands from end-users and NGOs have encouraged the development of alternative non-toxic and low toxic solutions to replace toxic DWOR, although alternative technologies do not accomplish similar repellence properties for high demanding applications. Nowadays, the main chemical multinationals continue to work in more functional less toxic alternatives to DWOR. However, there is a lack of information about toxicity of these recently developed alternative solutions.
MIDWOR-LIFE will consist of a comprehensive analysis of the environmental impact of the best available technologies that are currently being developed as an alternative to toxic DWOR. The project will involve a complete screening of the best alternative technologies to current toxic DWOR. Alternative chemicals will be selected according to their functionality and the requirements of the particular market. Demonstration activities at industrial installations will guarantee the technical, economic and environmental feasibility of the selected chemicals. A full and detailed analysis of the best (i.e. non toxic and functional) technologies will be disseminated in order to inform society and define the best non toxic technologies in which research should focus in the near future.
The meeting took place at LEITAT facilities, in Terrassa. During the meeting, all MIDWOR-LIFE partners reviewed all actions which constitute the Project and planned next steps to be performed during next months.