VALUE ADDED AND HIGH-VOLUME COTTON PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES
Location: Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research
Title: Analysis of effluent filtrate in the hydro-entanglement process for producing cotton nonwovens: a progress report
Research conducted cooperatively with:
Submitted to: World Journal of Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 13, 2010
Publication Date: July 2, 2010
Citation: Condon, B.D., Reynolds, M.L., Sawhney, A.P., Gary, L., Slopek, R.P., Grimm, C.C., Hui, D. 2010. Analysis of effluent filtrate in the hydro-entanglement process for producing cotton nonwovens: a progress report. World Journal of Engineering. 7(2):292-295.
Interpretive Summary: The USDA is exploring new avenues to increase use of cotton. One of them is the so called nonwovens that directly are fabricated from cotton fiber without the traditional spinning and weaving or knitting. The nonwovens are growing rapidly, i.e., much faster than the traditional textiles. However, the present use of cotton in nonwoven structures and products is almost negligible (less than 2%). Furthermore, most of this thin 2% cotton usage entails either bleached cotton mostly for medical products or low-grade, discounted cottons and/or cotton ginning products for bedding, furniture padding, and absorbent wiping applications. The use of bleached cotton is costly and environmentally sensitive. Therefore, the USDA’s emphasis is on conducting research to expand use of virgin/greige cotton in manufacture of nonwovens. Beside the process of needle-punching, the hydro-entanglement (H-E) process or system seems to be the most versatile, commercial system that can handle greige cotton, if a satisfactory water cleaning and recycling system becomes available. In that direction, the present preliminary study of evaluating a typical effluent water filtrate obtained from an H-E trial with UltraClean greige (scour/bleach-less) cotton was conducted. The study shows that an efficient water filtration system could be attainable with further research on existing filtration technologies.
A number of hydro-entangled cotton nonwoven fabrics were produced on commercial equipment, using UltraCleanTM Cotton (T.J. Beall Company). Polypropylene “sock” filters were used in the production trials to clean the effluent water for recycling it in the hydro-entanglement process. After each trial run, the sock filter was removed to study residual constituents of the filtrate. In some trials, the filters had clogged up, thereby disrupting the water flow and interrupting the trials. This preliminary report briefly presents the chemical, microscopic and bacterial analyses of a classical effluent filtrate obtained from an otherwise successful hydro-entanglement trial that was conducted under specified process parameters and other conditions.