A rational approach has been applied to design a new environmentally acceptable and industrially viable enzymatic scouring process. Owing to the substrate specificity, the selection of enzymes depends on the structure and composition of the substrate, i.e. cotton fibre. The structure and composition of the outer layers of cotton fibre has been established on the basis of thorough literature study, which identifies wax and pectin removal to be the key steps for successful scouring process. Three main issues are discussed here, i.e. benchmarking of the existing alkaline scouring process, an evaluation of several selected acidic and alkaline pectinases for scouring, and the effect of wax removal treatment on pectinase performance. It has been found that the pectinolytic capability of alkaline pectinases on cotton pectin is nearly 75% higher than that of acidic pectinases. It is concluded that an efficient wax removal prior to pectinase treatment indeed results in improved performance in terms of hydrophilicity and pectin removal. To evaluate the hydrophilicity, the structural contact angle () was measured using an auto-porosimeter.
- Cotton structure
- Cotton wax removal
- Enzymatic scouring
- Structural contact angle
Agrawal, P., Nierstrasz, V., Klug-Santner, B. G., Gübitz, G. M., Lenting, H. B. M., Lenting, H. B. M., & Warmoeskerken, M. (2007). Wax removal for accellerated cotton scouring with alkaline pectinase. Biotechnology journal, 2(3), 306-315. https://doi.org/10.1002/biot.200600169