In recent times chemicals are dominant over biotechnological processes, enzymes and renewable resources in textile production. In water and oil-repellent processes, perfluorinated chemicals are highly used which causes harm to health and are highly biodegradable. As a result of a study carried out at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB, Hydrophobic Finishing (HydroFichi) has been invented for imparting fibers with desired properties using biotechnological princesses and Chitosan.
Chitosan is a Chitin derivative and renewable in nature. Due to its highly insoluble nature and abundance, it is used in textile processing. Project leader and deputy head of the Functional Surfaces and Materials innovation field at IGB, Dr. Achim Weber explains that Chitosan can also replace petroleum-based chemicals.
Their aim of doing the 'HydroFichi' project was to give the industry a widely applied material that will act as a substitute for the conventional petroleum based chemicals. Chitosan will provide a matrix material or template for a variety of fiber materials. They want to transfer the sustainable biomolecule to the market as soon as possible for the sports and outdoor sectors.
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