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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
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.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
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.

3. Progress Report:
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists at Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC), New Orleans, Louisiana, have developed new products, applications, and processes for expansion of domestic cotton in the areas of: 1) Flame Retardant Technology; 2) Nanotechnology; 3) Medical and Hygiene Products; 4) Bioprocessing; and 5) Biofuel Technology. Progress in these five areas of cotton research is as follows: 1) Flame Retardant Technology: A phosphoramidate derivative was prepared through a short organic syntheses route, and add-ons of 4-9% from aqueous solution formulations were found on cotton fabrics such as print cloth, twill, and fleece. All fabrics performed well in flammability tests [American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) method]. 2) Nanotechnology: A biosensor with potential for point of care diagnosis usage was made from cotton cellulose nanocrystals and protease substrate peptides. The biosensor is a sensitive colorimetric and fluorimetric detector of a destructive enzyme found in many chronic diseases. 3) Medical Products: Greige cotton was shown to posses properties associated with accelerated clotting and wound healing. Blood clotting studies revealed that nonwoven greige cotton accelerates coagulation over scoured and bleached cotton, and generates low level hydrogen peroxide levels associated with enhanced granulation tissue. 4) Hygienic Products: Nonwoven greige cotton was shown to possess fluid uptake and material surface properties similar to absorbent incontinence product materials making it of special interest to a high volume incontinence products market where cotton has historically been under used.

4. Accomplishments

Review Publications
Condon, B.D., Easson, M.W., Yachmenev, V., Lambert, A.H., Smith, J.N. 2012. Low-level, uniform ultrasound field effects on enzymatic bioprocessing of greige cotton using three fabric weights. American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists Review. 12(6):45-50.

Easson, M.W., Mertens, J.A., Fortier, C.A., Slopek, R.P., Condon, B.D., Boykin, D.L., Tarver, M.R. 2013. The ultrasound-enhanced bioscouring performance of four polygalacturonase enzymes obtained from rhizopus oryzae. American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists Review. 13(2):51-56.

Chang, S., Condon, B.D., Nguyen, T.D., Graves, E.E., Smith, J.N. 2012. Antiflammable properties of capable phosphorus-nitrogen-containing triazine derivatives on cotton. In: Morgan, A.B., Wilkie, C.A., Nelson, G.L., editors. Fire and Polymers VI: New Advances in Flame Retardant Chemistry and Science. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society. p. 123-137.

Nguyen, M.M., Chang, S., Condon, B.D., Slopek, R.P., Graves, E.E., Yoshioka-Tarver, M. 2013. Structural effect of phosphoramidate derivatives on the thermal and flame retardant behaviors of treated cotton cellulose. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. 52(13):4715-4724.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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