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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2014-15
Prepare and publish annually Best Practice Guidelines highlighting improvements or new options for the wool- manufacturing sector. Feedback from China indicated that this activity would be better managed through AWI's Trade Education Program. Develop techniques to remove unwanted residues on wool during processing. Various techniques were explored and developed to laboratory and pilot scale levels but problems were encountered achieving the necessary residue reductions. Identify areas of chemical use of concern to the industry and support development of alternative processing methods or inputs. Pilot scale trials were completed and the chemicals applied in full scale trials, however they have not been adopted. New Target: International collaborative effort with IWTO on Wool Lifecycle Analysis (LCA): • Complete research into co-product allocation rules for wool lifecycle analysis and publish in a relevant peer reviewed journal • Complete a journal publication on use-phase and post-use phase components of the wool lifecycle • Ensure the wool industry is represented in BSI, FAO LEAP and SAC, MADE-BY LCA standard and fibre rating tool technical processes. The relevant papers were published and the wool industry is well represented at SAC, FAO, BSI, and MADE- BY. • In an attempt to develop alternative shrink resist chemicals, four different ionic liquids (ILs) were investigated: tetramethylguanidinium lactate (TMGLa), tetramethylguanidinium propionate (TMGPn), ethanolammonium lactate (EoALa) and ethanolammonium propionate (EoAPn). • EOALa and EOAPn imparted the greatest level of shrink resistance, particularly when accompanied by subsequent oxidation with PMS. However trials in China on full scale machinery were unsuccessful due to the practical difficulties of handling ILs, which proved to be too viscous for industrial use. Given the lack of effectiveness and high cost of ILs compared to existing chlorine based treatments, the project was suspended pending further improvements in the performance in the IL-treated wool. • A paper entitled "Application of life cycle assessment to sheep production systems: Investigating co-production of wool and meat using case studies from major global producers" was published by the Journal of LCA in early 2015. This paper, which represents the outcome of two years of work by the AWI:IWTO Wool LCA Technical Advisory Group, paves the way for better reporting of wool's environmental performance, proposing a new method for use in LCAs of wool where wool is produced alongside meat. The goal was to identify a more accurate and consistent method of dividing the environmental impact across meat and wool than the current method based on the dollar value of each product. On completing the study, the author's proposal was to make the allocation on the basis of the protein requirements of production. Both meat and wool are protein-based products so in addition to achieving the goals of improved accuracy and consistency, this method generated results that are causally related to production. The study is expected to influence the international standards applied to LCA benchmarking and over time will result in more consistent reporting of the positive environmental performance of wool. • The Wool LCA Technical Advisory Group was invited to contribute a chapter on wool LCA for inclusion in the Handbook of Life Cycle Assessment of Textiles and Clothing. This invitation from Woodhead Publishing was an acknowledgement of the status of the Group and their achievements for wool LCA. The Handbook will communicate recent technical developments in wool LCA to a wider audience and will generate awareness of the unique features of the life cycle of wool and the rationale for including them in LCA. It will result in wool LCA practitioners using more consistent methods and will mitigate the risk of a proliferation of poor LCA studies that could potentially damage the reputation of wool. The chapter was accepted for publishing in late 2015. • A paper on wool recycling and re-use was prepared by the Technical Advisory Group and presented to the International Conference on Natural Fibres (ICNF) in Portugal in April 2015. It will be published in the book "Natural Fibres - Advances in Science and Technology Towards Industrial Applications: From Science to Market". New research results have shown that wool has a lower environmental impact than has previously been accounted for in current life cycle assessment (LCA) studies. REPORT OF 2014/15 OPERATIONS -- OFF-FARM R&D
AWI Annual Report 2013-14
AWI Annual Report 2015-16