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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #133615


item Yachmenev, Valeriy
item Blanchard, Eugene
item Lambert, Allan

Submitted to: Biotechnology International Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2002
Publication Date: 9/27/2002
Citation: Yachmenev, V., Bertoniere, N.R., Blanchard, E.J., Lambert, A.H. 2002. Combined enzyme/ultrasound bio-preparation of greige cotton. The Second International Symposium on Biotechnology in Textiles: Advances in Biotechnology for Textile Processing. pp. 69-81.

Interpretive Summary: Raw unscoured cotton contains ~ 90% cellulose and various noncellulosics such as waxes, pectins, proteins, fats, and coloring matter. The goal of the cotton preparation process is to remove these hydrophobic noncellulosics components and to produce highly absorbent fiber that can be dyed and finished uniformly. This is usually achieved by chemical processing with relatively harsh and environmentally unfriendly chemicals. A new process for preparation of the fibers utilizes specific environmentally friendly enzymes instead of harsh conventional chemicals. The major shortcoming of this new technology is that the processing time is much longer than the conventional method. This was overcome by use of ultrasound energy in combination with enzyme processing. The combined enzyme/ultrasound treatment of cellulosic textiles offers significant advantages, such as less consumption of expensive enzymes, shorter processing time, better uniformity of treatment, and a notable decrease in the amount and toxicity of the resulting textile wastewater. Groups benefitting from this development include the textile industry, industrial and academic textile scientists, and the consumer of such products.

Technical Abstract: Utilization of highly specific enzymes for various textile-processing applications is becoming increasingly popular because of their ability to replace harsh organic/inorganic chemicals currently used by the textile industry. The experimental data show that ultrasound energy significantly intensified enzymatic activity on various types of cotton fabrics, but it did not contribute to a decrease in strength. It was established that ultrasound does not inactivate the complex structures of enzyme molecules, and as a consequence, there was significant improvement in the performance of both cellulase and pectinase enzymes. Maximum benefit provided by sonication occurs at relatively low concentrations of enzymes. Combined enzyme/ultrasound treatment of cellulosic textiles offers significant advantages such as less consumption of enzymes, shorter processing time, better uniformity of treatment, and a notable decrease in the quantity and toxicity of the textile wastewater.