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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Cotton Quality and Innovation Research » Research » Research Project #443524

Research Project: Conversion of Cotton Apparel Wastes to Cellulose Nanofibers and Cellulose Nanocrystals

Location: Cotton Quality and Innovation Research

Project Number: 6054-41430-009-003-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2023
End Date: Dec 31, 2023

In the textile industry there is a need for a viable alternative for the tons of cotton-based apparel waste that is generated each year which is either burned or disposed of in landfills. The present proposal seeks to convert this apparel waste to cellulose nanocrystals and cellulose nanofibers.

In part one cotton-based apparel waste in the form of scraps of dyed cotton fabric is converted to cellulose nanofibers and cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) via a combination of mechanical grinding of the feedstock material, followed by chemical processing to produce cellulose nanocrystals and cellulose nanofibers. In part two cotton-based apparel waste residue generated from the partial acid hydrolysis of the cellulose contained in apparel waste is converted to cellulose nanocrystals through acid neutralization, solvent washing, sonication, chemical bleaching and dialysis.