Submitted to: Ultrasonics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/13/2017
Publication Date: 3/1/2018
Citation: Easson, M.W., Condon, B., Villalpando, A., Chang, S. 2018. The application of ultrasound and enzymes in textile processing of greige cotton. Ultrasonics. 84:223-233. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultras.2017.11.007.
Interpretive Summary: Over a period of several years researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans, Louisiana have investigated a processing method which combines enzymes with ultrasound to remove pectins and waxes from greige cotton textiles. This approach is an alternative to the current process method employed in the textile industry wherein caustic chemicals, high temperatures, and large amount of energy are required to remove pectins and waxes. The traditional process method leads to the generation of alkaline waste streams which require neutralization before being discharged into the environment and thus, the combination of ultrasound and enzymes is a greener, more sustainable process method.
Technical Abstract: Research progress made at the USDA’s Southern Regional Research Center to provide an ultrasound and enzymatic alternative to the current textile processing method of scouring greige cotton textile with caustic chemicals is reported. The review covers early efforts to measure pectin and wax removal from greige cotton textiles using standard wicking methodology and describes an investigation of newly discovered polygalacturonase enzymes as bioscouring agents. Further research is reviewed involving efforts to characterize and optimize the ultrasound-enhanced enzymatic bioscouring process through a statistical examination of the operating parameters of power, enzyme concentration, ultrasonic frequency and time. Previously unpublished graphs, results and discussion are included.