Interview with Programme Committee member: Anton Luiken – Alcon Advies
– Biography; can you please tell us something about yourself and your expertise?
Anton Luiken (1959) studied organic chemistry and environmental sciences at the University of Nijmegen. After his study he joined the textile department of TNO, where he was involved in many project to reduce the environmental impact of textile finishing processes. This was done by studying new technologies like UV-curing and plasma technology, by energy savings programs to optimize the conventional processes and by waste water treatment, including trials to recycle the purified water. Main problem in cleaning waste water from textile mills are dyes and auxiliary chemicals like salts, which are added to increase the dye-uptake by the textile materials. At TNO he was teaching dyestuff chemistry to master students of Universities of Applied Sciences.
After 22 years at TNO, Anton Luiken started his own consultancy firm Alcon Advies. Main focus of Alcon Advies is to improve the environmental performance of the textile and clothing supply chain. Alcon Advies is involved in many projects related to textile recycling and quantifying the environmental impact of textile processes and products.
During his career Anton Luiken has built a vast international network in textile research institutes. During the time he worked at TNO, he was vice president of Textranet, the European network of textile research institutes with more than 30 members all over Europe. Nowadays, he is chairman of the Textile Flagship for Europe on circular economy. The textile flagships are set up by the European branch organization for the textile and clothing industry, Euratex. In this Flagship expertise on sustainability of textile materials is shared and bottlenecks on the application of more sustainable textile materials, like Europe grown hemp and flax and mechanically recycled (post-consumer) fibers, are identified. The discussions in the flagships have resulted in a roadmap for the European textile and clothing industry (http://www.textile-platform.eu/home/2016/10/17/new-strategic-innovation-and-research-agenda-released.html )
– What can the visitors of the conference expect from your speech or presentation?
My presentation during the conference will focus on sustainability in the textile and clothing supply chain and options to improve sustainability. The selection of fibres, processes and chemicals, the durability of products and the end-of-life scenarios of textile products will be discussed. In the selection of materials and chemicals, the impact of the bio-based alternatives will be evaluated, including the use of natural colorants. The environmental impact will be quantified by using the MODINT Ecotool.
From my presentation it will become clear that it depends from case to case whether or not it is good to use bio-based alternatives.
– What are you hoping for and what are your expectations of the conference?
I hope for a wide attendance at the conference and that the visitors will take home a number of suggestions how they can reduce the environmental impact in their businesses and daily life. Besides I hope that consortia will be formed to improve the performance of natural dyes, widen the scope of application of such dyes and to produce dyes from bio-based compounds, especially from waste of the food and agro industry.