A fast integrated enzyme-based pretreatment process concept for cotton containing textiles has been developed for operation in the continuous mode. The total processing time for the desizing and scouring operation is 3–10 minutes for fabrics with a weight of 120–300 g/m2. Essential elements in the process are the high starting temperature, the presence of surfactant, application of vacuum technology and a robust rinsing process afterwards to remove the degraded pectin together with hydrophobic compounds. This rinsing procedure is realized with water containing chelator and surfactant and at high operation temperature beyond 80°C. A mixture of enzymes is used, consisting of a temperature stable α-amylase and a pectate lyase, both operating under alkaline conditions.
- Continuous processing