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

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Title: Zero Waste Strategy for Cotton Gin Waste: Valorizing as a Nanotemplate

Author
item Nam, Sunghyun
item Easson, Michael
item Jordan, Jacobs
item He, Zhongqi

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The cotton ginning industry generates a significant amount of waste, including leaves, cottonseed, hulls, and burrs. This study proposes an effective zero-waste strategy for cotton gin waste by transforming it into a device that produces antimicrobial silver nanoparticles. Conventionally, producing nanoparticles requires several chemical agents to convert a precursor to nanoparticles. However, our results demonstrate that cotton gin waste powder can naturally convert a silver precursor to silver nanoparticles without the aid of chemical agents. The resulting cotton gin waste infused with silver nanoparticles can be used to produce antimicrobial and antifungal products such as packaging, particleboard, and adsorbent materials.

Technical Abstract: Cotton gin waste is a byproduct generated during the cotton ginning process, where cotton fibers are separated from the seed bolls. Disposing of this abundant agro-industrial waste has been a major issue for the cotton ginning industry. In an effort to develop a zero-waste strategy for cotton gin waste, we have transformed it into a nanotemplate that produces silver nanoparticles without using any reducing or stabilizing agents. Some of the heterogeneous constituents of cotton gin waste, such as hemicellulose and lignin, acted as reducing agents and its porous structure served as reaction chambers for controlled particle growth. This in situ synthesis of silver nanoparticles was readily achieved using a simple one-step heat treatment of powdered cotton gin waste (less than 250 'm in size) in an aqueous solution of a silver precursor. The resulting silver nanoparticles were approximately 42 nm in diameter and were uniformly formed in the exterior and interior of the cotton gin waste particles. This cotton gin waste nanocomposite, due to the well-known biocidal properties of silver nanoparticles, can be used to produce antimicrobial and antifungal products such as films, composites, packaging, and particleboard.