Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research Unit is part of the Agricultural Research Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency. The Research Unit develops new processes, applications and product enabling technologies which facilitate the expanded use and enhanced value of U.S. cotton. Our current research is focused on developing new chemistries to improve fire retardant finishes on cotton, development of biomedical textiles, including bandages to be used for the treatment of chronic wounds, antibacterial textiles to prevent disease transmission, and cotton-based decontamination fabrics for chemical and biological warfare agents and food safety. We also focus on green technologies via supercritical CO2 and enzyme treatments which will reduce wastes and energy consumption for cotton processing. This technology has applications in other areas such as cellulosic ethanol and bioenergy. The unit is developing technology to facilitate greater use of cotton in industrial and home use nonwoven products such as wipes, furniture and mattress batting, medical and personal care products, and basic knowledge of the parameters required to enable cotton-based nonwoven products and processes. Many of these products will find utility in the food safety and health fields. Also, fundamental knowledge is being developed regarding covalent bonding to cotton, novel cotton processing conditions, the relationship between cotton quality parameters and nonwovens performance and sustainability and guidance toward new cotton varieties. This presentation will provide an overview of the Agency and the mechanisms by which we partner with industry stakeholders to conduct collaborative research and development to bring new cotton-containing products to market. Recent research milestones from the unit will be discussed as well as their impact on science and the cotton industry.