GRASSOBIO – Italian chemical company Erca Group will spin out a new business unit next year which has the sole focus of supplying the textile industry with ‘green’ chemistry solutions.
The company, which is already known for supplying textile chemical auxiliaries based on recycled vegetable oils – instead of petrochemicals – says the decision will eventually give the industry access to a range of new ‘green’ chemical solutions related to the emerging circular economy.
Erca already produces a line of textile auxiliaries derived from waste vegetable oil such as castor, which are used as levelling and dispersing agents for dyeing polyester at its headquarters in Grassobbio near Bergamo, Italy, but has six manufacturing facilities worldwide and turns over €150 million (US$165M) per year servicing the textiles, cosmetics, polyurethanes and concrete sectors.
But January 2024 marks the official birth of Erca TCS (Textile Chemical Solutions), a business unit of Erca with a focus solely on the textile market that will be based on ‘green chemistry’, according to the company.
Fabio Locatelli from Erca explains: “Our goal is to make Erca TCS a reference point for sustainable innovation and help reduce the environmental impact of the textile industry by adopting innovative and truly sustainable solutions and services. We are always looking for innovative solutions through the development of products that are increasingly high-performing, competitive, and sustainable at the same time.”
The company says the idea behind a green, high tech and circular commitment to the textile sector through the launch of Erca TCS is “demonstrated by a product and brand range that is totally based on the circular economy, which started from a problem – the disposal of used vegetable oil – and turned it into a resource, into a raw material for the production of chemical auxiliaries for the textile industry”.
Its Revecol range of levelling agents are auxiliaries certified to the Global Recycling Standard (GRS) and says they can be used on both standard and recycled polyesters in batch dyeing processes – even on high count yarn dyeing and on beam in critical (deep) shades. It also offers other options for jet dyeing and overflow applications. Erca is also currently developing new processes that will allow us to make detergents, emulsifiers, and softeners from waste vegetable oils.
Founded in the 1960s, ERCA S.p.A. has six chemical manufacturing facilities in three regions: Europe, Latin America, and Asia.