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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Cotton Fiber Bioscience and Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #399060

Research Project: Innovative Approaches for Value Added Cotton-Containing Nonwovens

Location: Cotton Fiber Bioscience and Utilization Research

Title: Washable antimicrobial wipes made from nanostructured raw cotton fibers

item Nam, Sunghyun
item Hinchliffe, Doug
item Hillyer, Matthew
item GARY, LAWSON - Wildwood Cotton Technologies
item He, Zhongqi

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/4/2022
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: To remediate the environmental pollution from disposable wipes, washable antimicrobial nonwoven wipes were developed by finding the new function of raw cotton fiber to produce silver nanoparticles. Unlike scoured/bleached cotton fiber, raw cotton fibers efficiently synthesized silver nanoparticles (25 nm in diameter and 2100 mg/kg in concentration) in the internal substructure without the aid of reducing and stabilizing agents. Blending 2 wt% of this nanostructured raw cotton fiber in the nonwoven fabrication produced washable antimicrobial wipes. This new nanotechnology using raw cotton fiber is not limited to wipes but can be extended to various types of textile products.

Technical Abstract: As the production and use of disposable wipes have been surging since the outbreak of global COVID-19, the concern about their potential threats to the environment is rapidly growing. Typical wipes are nonbiodegradable and generate microplastic pollution as they are nonwoven fabrics generally made from synthetic fibers. In this study, we developed washable antimicrobial wipes using nanostructured raw cotton fiber. Raw cotton fiber has a unique capability to produce antimicrobial silver nanoparticles. Without the aid of reducing and stabilizing agents, which are required in the typical synthesis of nanoparticles, raw cotton fiber internally in situ synthesized silver nanoparticles (2,100 mg/kg in concentration and 25 nm in diameter), forming the nanoparticle-filled substructure. Simply blending 2 wt% of the nanostructured raw cotton fibers in the nonwoven fabrication produced antimicrobial wipes, which continuously killed harmful bacteria after 30 laundering cycles.