DuPont Industrial Biosciences today presented results of collaborative trials with Pacific Textiles Limited Ltd, a Hong Kong-based manufacturer of custom fabrics, which demonstrate the significant sustainability benefits of bio-based enzymes used to replace traditional chemicals in cotton textile processing at bulk-scale production. DuPont’s enzymes are derived from natural resources and are biodegradable.
Speaking about DuPont’s strategy to address global energy needs and biobased solutions at the Sustainable Textiles Conference, DuPont Industrial Biosciences Vice President John P. Ranieri reported that the trials with Pacific Textiles found DuPontTM PrimaGreen® enzymes used in combination can eliminate the need for caustic chemicals, while also dramatically reducing water, energy use and processing time. Ranieri said the trial with Pacific Textile confirmed the results from an earlier lab study DuPont conducted with Cotton Incorporated that was released in May 2012.
“The results of these ongoing trials at Pacific Textiles show we have taken our more eco- friendly enzymatic processes from the lab to full factory scale,” said Mark Oostendorp, global business leader Textile Processing. “DuPont’s enzymes provide the textile industry a more eco-friendly, high- quality and cost-effective alternative to chemicals commonly used in the pretreatment and finishing process of cotton textile manufacturing.”
The results of the Cotton Incorporated study found that the use of DuPontTM PrimaGreen®, as a replacement to traditional chemicals in cotton textile preparation, led to an average reduction of 70 percent water (by liter); 33 percent steam (in pounds); and 27 percent in energy (as kWH) across dark, medium and light shade ranges. By bio-optimizing these processes, total production time was reduced by an average of 27 percent. In the Cotton Incorporated trial, the cotton knits produced showed good whiteness values, mote removal, maintenance of fabric strength and weight, and were receptive to dark, medium and light dye shades.
“The main advantages of using the DuPontTM PrimaGreen® process are savings in processing time and water,” said Ronald K.K. Chan, assistant supervisor at Pacific Textiles, who facilitated the trails. “The enzymes also will ensure we produce high-quality fabrics that have been created in a more sustainable and cost-effective process, which aligns with our company goal to save more energy and reduce emissions as demanded by our customers.”
The DuPontTM PrimaGreen® enzymes help save energy by allowing textile preparation to occur at much lower temperatures. In addition, DuPont’s bio-enzymes also save water volume by enabling the same water bath to be used for multiple steps in the production process.
Pacific Textiles Ltd, based in Hong Kong, is a leading manufacturer of customized knitted fabric in the textile industry. The company production base is in Panyu, South China – heart of the Pearl River Delta Region. The production plant is well-equipped with advanced production facilities, including a scalable water treatment facility and cogeneration power plant, which are keys to production efficiency and flexibility. The company provides integrated services of knitting, dyeing, printing and finishing, with an annual production capacity of approximately 87 million kg. Its finished fabrics comprise more than 5,000 designs and specifications to sell to the global market. The fabrics are used in a broad range of garments, including men’s, women’s and children’ clothing, sportswear, swimwear and inner-wear. It has established relationships with owners and leading brands worldwide.
Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton. The program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.
DuPont – one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals more than 20 years ago – has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment. The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets.
DuPont has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.
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Source: DuPont, press release, 2012-10-04.