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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CHEMICAL MODIFICATIONS OF COTTON TEXTILES Project Number: 6435-41430-005-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Jul 22, 2009
End Date: Aug 09, 2010

To determine the mechanism of chemical crosslinking using simple crosslinking agents and extend these findings to commercial crosslinking methods to produce formaldehyde-free, second generation crosslinking agents for cotton fabrics with improved durable press performance, abrasion resistance, moisture absorption, and dyeability, and improved overall quality without significant loss of strength. To develop durable, low-cost flame retardants, and bactericidal finishes/coatings for cotton fabrics based on new, silicon/phosphorus polymers compounds and/or 'pillared' nano-size clay particles. To design, prepare, test and commercially develop innovative, cotton-based chronic and burn wound dressings and complimentary protease detection and color change technology for emergency and long term care medical applications. To develop low-cost, disposable, 'point of use' (POU) water purification/filtration devices capable of removal of toxic metals/compounds from contaminated water utilizing chemically modified, low-grade (waste) cottons. To use ultrasound energy for intensification of enzymatic bio-preparation and bio-finishing of cellulose-based textiles and, subsequently, design and test a pilot-scale sonication reactor for continuous enzymatic bio-processing of cotton textiles.

The ideal conditions and reagents necessary for the commercial crosslinking of cotton textile will be determined by first studying the conditions necessary for the crosslinking of highly swollen cotton fibers. The surface structure of cotton fibers will be determined periodically as the cotton develops in the opening as well as after opening and drying. This information will be invaluable for increasing the efficiency of crosslinking of cotton textiles. Durable, low-cost, flame retardant and bactericidal treatments employing silicon/phosphorus polymers or 'pillared' nanosize clay particles will be developed. Chemically modified cottons with enhanced moisture holding capacity (such as carboxymethyl cellulose) will be produced for use in the bandage industry. Cotton-containing water purification/filtration filters will be produced from low-cost waste cotton fibers by chemical modifications to give them multiple ion exchange sites. Ultrasound energy will be employed to intensify enzymatic bio-preparation and bio-finishing of cotton-based textiles.

Last Modified: 7/27/2015
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