Submitted to: American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists Journal of Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/2/2017
Publication Date: 11/1/2017
Citation: Easson, M.W., Lanier, M.L., Villalpando, A., Condon, B.D. 2017. Scale-up of an ultrasound-enhanced bioscouring process. American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists Journal of Research. 4(6):1-6.
Interpretive Summary: Over the past several decades little effort has been made in traditional textile processing to reduce or eliminate the caustic scouring agents used to remove pectins from greige cotton. The tons of alkaline wastewater generated in scouring greige cotton textiles were simply neutralized and discarded, costing valuable time, money, and water resources. In the present age of greater environmental awareness, there is a desire to develop greener processes that eliminate these hazardous waste streams. In an effort to mitigate the environmental impact of textile processes, researchers at the Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans, Louisiana have recently made progress towards the development of a large-scale ultrasound-enhanced bioscouring reactor. The reactor combines the acoustic energy of ultrasound with the highly specific chemistry of enzymes to remove pectin and subsequently wax from greige cotton without the need for caustic substances. This research is a progression from earlier published work on a smaller scale in which the four process factors of power, time, enzyme concentration and ultrasonic frequency were optimized. In the present work these four optimized process factors are applied to a ten-gallon ultrasonic tank, equipped with a system of rollers which permitted continuous fabric feed into the bioscouring reactor. The objectives of the present research were 1) Determine whether engineering process controls can be maintained and optimized at the larger scale; 2) Examine ultrasound-enhanced bioscouring performance over time as fabric is continuously fed into the bioscouring reactor; 3) Provide recommendations for improvements in experimental procedure and equipment operation and design.
Technical Abstract: Using previously determined optimized reaction conditions, an ultrasound-enhanced bioscouring process was scaled to ten gallon capacity and a system of rollers was added which allowed for continuous fabric feed and equipment operation. UV-Vis photospectroscopic data from bioscoured fabric samples confirmed pectin removal and provided evidence that the combination of ultrasound and enzymes was an environmentally sustainable alternative to the present-day caustic scouring method.