Project Number: 6054-41430-006-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated
Start Date: Aug 10, 2010
End Date: May 5, 2015
Objective 1 - Develop chemistries and treatments that enable new cotton-based products for biomedical and specialty applications. Objective 2 - Develop enzyme-based technologies that enable new cotton-based products for decontamination applications. Objective 3 - Develop new finishing chemistries and innovative treatment processes that enable new cotton-based products with flame retardancy and moisture control. Objective 4 - Develop environmentally friendly cotton, dyeing and finishing processes based on the combination of sonication and enzymatic technologies.
The U.S. cotton industry continues to face supply and demand concerns. Since cotton is used in manufactured products, the industry has been challenged by the downsizing of manufacturing facilities that traditionally provide a major underpinning to domestic cotton consumption. Thus, with the goal of giving U.S. cotton utilization a competitive edge, research emphasis will be placed in cotton fiber science and product development where consumer and industrial needs are unmet and show promise. Some of the areas of consumer need for cotton products and process potential are: specialty nonwoven pads and wipes medical/hygiene, apparel/home furnishings, and enzymatic bio-processing. The targeted research in the areas of synthetic chemistry, enzymatic, bio-processing, flame retardant chemistry, and analytical cotton fiber science will be undertaken by the collaborative efforts of the Cotton Chemistry Utilization Unit to yield new cotton products. Collaboration and synergy with the research unit’s cotton nonwoven project in the areas of value-added cotton materials, enzymes, processing, and environmental sustainability make the likelihood of success high. Products that are envisioned to arise from this research include medical, hygiene, and hospital materials, broad spectrum anti-microbial and decontamination wipes, durable low-cost flame retardant apparel and home furnishings, and ultrasonic approaches for smooth finishing of cotton textiles. This proposed research also takes into account preserving the environment and economical cost. Research emphasis will be placed on developing approaches to enable a comprehensive understanding of the relation of structure to function on modified cotton for a broad range of potential uses.