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25th October 2013, Singapore

DuPont partners Huntsman in sustainable cotton processing

DuPont Industrial Biosciences, in collaboration with Huntsman Corporation, have announced today the results of a case study that demonstrates the performance of Gentle Power Bleach, powered by DuPont’s first-to-market enzymatic bleaching technology, DuPont PrimaGreen EcoWhite.

The study, conducted between 2006 and 2012, measured significant reductions in water use, energy consumption and chemical use coupled with notable increases in product quality and yield.

Case study

Portugal’s Acabamentos Têxteis de Barcelos (ATB), the leading knitwear dyeing and finishing specialist and one of the largest textile mills in Europe, introduced this technology to their facility with the goal of increasing performance while using fewer resources.

DuPont Industrial Biosciences, in collaboration with Huntsman Corporation, have announced the results of a case study that demonstrates the performance of Gentle Power Bleach. © DuPont

Between 2006 and 2012, the case study measured:

  • an increase in production of 3,380 tons in 2006 to 4,409 tons in 2012
  • a reduction in water usage of 55 cubic meters of water per ton of fabric produced
  • a reduction in use of chemicals per ton of fabric produced: 0.55 in 2012 as opposed to 0.74 in 2006
  • a significant reduction in energy consumption (measured since 2009).

“Global competition is stronger than ever and with Portugal facing seasonal water scarcity and the need to curtail energy consumption, DuPont and Huntsman delivered maximised productivity while achieving considerable environmental savings,” said Wayne Ashton, global business leader Home and Personal Care for DuPont Industrial Biosciences.

Focus on sustainability

Conventional cotton bleaching techniques require a high temperature and large amounts of caustic chemical additives to modify and neutralise the pH range. To increase sales and profitability and reduce environmental impacts, ATB turned to DuPont and Huntsman’s unique enzyme-based bleaching system.

This technology is said to allow for low-temperature bleaching of textiles at 65C in a neutral pH range with less water and energy consumed. “The combination of Gentle Power Bleach and AVITERA - our flagship and environmental award winning tri-active dye, not only helped ATB reduce utility and water consumption, it has a lower environmental impact and is a clear demonstration of how collaboration across the textile supply chain can make a positive difference,” said Steve Gray, Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Planning.

“In order to satisfy our environmental and economic needs, we need to respond to change by looking at our processes holistically. Sometimes, this requires us to have a mindset change and think out of the box to look for a total solution, rather than just changing part of the process,” said José Carlos, ATB Technical Manager.

Processing cotton

Cotton pre-treated with Gentle Power Bleach demonstrates a softer, bulkier, more natural handle with less fabric weight loss, according to the manufacturers. The system is also said to deliver brighter colour shades with a higher colour yield and bleaches regenerated cellulosic fibres to full-white levels.

“Since our foundation, ATB has made the conscious decision to invest in products and technologies that will help us reduce water consumption while also increasing our capacity through right-first-time processing,” said Ricardo Mano, ATB administrator.

“To ensure we can continue to expand in an environmentally responsible way, we needed a partner capable of delivering high-performance products to address the challenges of processing cotton in modern Portugal.”



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