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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 #165428


item Yachmenev, Valeriy
item Calamari Jr, Timothy
item Lambert, Allan

Submitted to: Journal of Natural Fibers
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2004
Publication Date: 8/8/2006
Citation: Yachmenev, V., Calamari Jr, T.A., Lambert, A.H. 2006. The effects of ultrasound on the performance of industrial enzymes used in cotton bio-preparation/bio-finishing applications. Journal of Natural Fibers. 3(2/3):99-112.

Interpretive Summary: Since the early 1990s, the use of enzyme in textile industry has increased significantly, especially in the processing of natural fibers such as cotton. A major reason for embracing enzymatic bio-processing is the fact that application of enzymes is considered to be environmentally benign and the reactions catalyzed are very specific and insure more focused performance as a result. In contrast, traditional chemical processing is much less specific and often results in undesirable side effects, e.g. reduction in the degree of polymerization of cellulose. Other potential benefits of enzymatic bio-processing include cost reduction, energy and water savings, and improved product quality. However, enzymatic processing of cotton also has several important shortcomings, such as expensive processing costs and most important, slow reaction rates, which to certain degree impede its acceptance by textile industry. Our laboratory scale studies showed that introduction of ultrasonic energy during enzymatic bio-preparation/bio-finishing processing of cotton offers significant advantages such as less consumption of expensive enzymes, shorter processing time, less fiber damage, and notable decrease in the amount and toxicity of textile wastewater. Groups benefiting from this development include the textile industry, industrial and academic textile scientists and the consumer.

Technical Abstract: Utilization of various highly specific enzymes for bio-finishing/bio-preparation processing of cellulosic fibers is becoming increasingly popular because it enables the textile industry to replace harsh organic/inorganic chemicals sharply decreases the quantity and toxicity of textile wastewater effluents. However, enzymatic processing of cotton, in addition to all its environmental benefits, has several important shortcomings, such as more expensive processing costs and slower reaction rates. Our laboratory scale studies found that introduction of ultrasonic energy during enzymatic bio-reparation/bio-finishing of cotton textiles significantly improved enzyme performance but did not contribute to a decrease in fabric strength. Experimental data indicate that the maximum benefit provided by sonication of enzyme processing solution occurred at lower enzyme concentrations than recommended by the manufacturer.