The Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research Unit develops new processes, applications and product enabling technologies which facilitate the expanded use and enhanced value of U.S. cotton. Current research is focused on developing new chemistries to improve fire retardant finishes on cotton for mattresses and children's sleepwear, development of biomedical textiles, including bandages to be used for the treatment of chronic wounds, antibacterial textiles to prevent disease transmission and cotton-based decontamination fabrics for chemical and biological warfare agents and food safety. Green technologies will address climate change issues via supercritical CO2 and enzyme treatments which will reduce wastes and energy consumption for cotton processing. This technology has application in other areas such as cellulosic ethanol and bioenergy. The unit is developing technology to facilitate greater use of cotton in industrial and home use nonwoven products such as wipes, furniture and mattress batting, medical and personal care products, acoustic insulation for automobiles and basic knowledge of the parameters required to enable cotton-based nonwoven products and processes. Many of these products will find utility in the food safety and health fields. Also, fundamental knowledge will be developed regarding covalent bonding to cotton, novel cotton processing conditions, the relationship between cotton quality parameters and nonwovens performance and sustainability and guidance toward new cotton varieties.