Biopolymers in Textiles

Biopolymers in textile industry
Biopolymers in Textiles

 Biopolymers in Textiles 
Ankit Dhandar 
Department of Textile Technology
Veermata Jijabai Technological  Institute ,Mumbai, Maharashtra State, India

An increasing trend for biopolymers production and application is being seen due to environmental awareness in the past few years and eco-friendliest of biopolymers. In the textiles sector biopolymers occupy a relatively low market share due to their insufficient mechanical properties compared due to conventional polymers, challenges during polymer processing and their higher price. The production of biopolymers (commonly known as bioplastics) is continuously increasing and recorded as 1.5 million tonnes in 2012, which is expected to reach to 6.7 million metric tonne in 2018.
 Alginate, chitin, or chitosan, starch, keratin or biosynthesised cellulose natural polymers have high demand  because of their unique properties and growing areas of application. Fibrous materials has great role to play when it is in terms of medical textiles.
The unique properties of this polymer withstand with environment with good performance. The biopolymers are also used in SIZING process in which the adhesive coat layer will be put on to the fabric to prevent abrasion occurring in further processes. Subsequently replacing harmful synthetic polymers. In the technical textile sector biopolymers plays great role with retaining desirable properties required in medical textile and geotextiles applications. The use of biopolymers is evolving in Textile Sect

(KEYWORDS: Biopolymers, Sizing, Technical Textiles, Geotextiles, Medical Textiles)

Introduction :

The biopolymers have been used since 1940s and Henry Ford used these
biopolymers in the construction of a car. Biopolymers are produced by biological
systems (i.e. microorganisms, plants and animals), or chemically synthesized from
biological starting materials (e.g. sugars, starch, natural fats or oils, etc.).They have great biodegradability than vegetable or animal derived natural fibres. Bio polymers
accounted for just over 1% of polymers in 2015 (Doug, 2010). However, the
expected growth is 3-4 times in the coming 7-8 years. 

 History :
 The history of biopolymers is ancient there is no strong evidence from which time human found natural biopolymers but some man-made biopolymers are in history as follows :-

 PHB is first produced (1925)
Maurice Lemoyne a French microbiologist discovered PHB that can be produced by feeding bacteria on a nutrient rich diet, and then removing the available glucose to which they respond by making PHB.

  Polylactic acid (1930 – 1940)
Polylactic acid was discovered by Wallace Caruthers used in drug delivery system.

 Rediscovery of PHB (1957)
The biopolymer PHB is rediscovered in 1957 in the UK and the U.S.A, 32 years after being first discovered.

 Advantages of biopolymers
• They are fully bio based.
• Much lower “oil (petroleum)” is needed for production
• Lower amount of green house gases is emitted during their production. Ingeo®
(Polylactic acid (PLA) from Nature works) requires 60% less greenhouse gases and
50% less non-renewable energy than other polymers (Ditty, 2013). 

Disadvantages of biopolymers
• Huge competition for biological sources of food and fuel
• There is extra sorting process required during recycling to avoid contamination.
• Poor performance compare to soil based polymer – poorer heat and moisture

Biopolymers with high potential applications:
• Starch based polymers (packaging)
• Poly Lactide - PLA
• Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)/ Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB)
• (co)PA – (castor oil based - PA11)
• Polybutylene succinate (PBS) and biopolyester based copolymers
• Polyethylene Furan ate (PEF) - alternative for PET, made from two building
blocks, Furan dicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG). 

Methods of Manufacture :
The methods for preparing bio-based polymers from renewable resources are:
• Method of Extraction and separation of agricultural resources.
• Partial modification of natural bio-based polymers.
• Production by means of microorganism (fermentation)/conventional chemistry followed
by polymerization (e.g., Polylactic acid, polybutylene succinate)
• With Direct bacterial fermentation processes (e.g., Polyhydroxyalkanoates).

      Classification of biopolymers :
• Polynucleotides (RNA and DNA), generally long polymers composed of 13 or
more nucleotide monomers;
• Polypeptides, short polymers of amino acids; and
• Polysaccharides,often linear bonded polymeric carbohydrate. This
group includes alginates, Microbial cellulose ( MC ), Chitin and Chitosan.

Physical and chemical properties of BIOPOLYMERS:
  •            It is biodegradable
  •           It is Non toxic element
  •          Affected by strong acid
  •         Carbon is neutral
  •         Melting point vary according to type of composition
  •     It is renewable and sustainable 

The main Bio-polymers used in Textile Sector are:
      1- Soybean fibre
Soybean fibre is a  regenerated protein fibre from soybean protein
blended with PVA. It is biodegradable, non-allergic, and micro-biocidal. The clothing
made from the this fibre is generally  less durable but has a soft, elastic handle.

       2-Poly-alkaline carboxylate
Poly-alkaline carboxylate Is monomer adhesive used for binding purpose.

      3-Bio-polyamide (Nylon)
Castor oil is main source of bio-polyamide, this bio-polyamide by castor oil is patented in 1944 by French scientist and marketed by Arkoma.

      4- Biodegradable Polyurethanes (PURs)
These are  also known for toughness, durability, biocompatibility, and bio stability. Unlike
polyester derivatives, polyether-based are quite resistant to degradation by

       5-Polylactic acid (PLA)
PLA is known since 1845 but not commercialized until early 1990. It is the only melt-
process able fibre from annually renewable natural resources such as corn starch (in
the United States), tapioca products (roots, chips or starch mostly in Asia) or sugar
cane (in the rest of world) [4]

      6-Bacterial Polyesters
The bacterial polyesters, Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) with poly-(R)-3-Hydroxybutyrate ,. Its high molecular weight polyester and thermoplastic (melts at 1800C) and can be melt spun into biocompatible and biodegradable fibres suitable for surgical use. [4]

      7-Chitin and chitosan
Chitin bears an acetamido group and chitosan bears a amino group instead of the C - 2 hydroxyl functionality.chitin is used in printing and finishing preparations, while chitosan is able to remove dyes from discharge water. Both have remarkable contribution to medical related textile sutures, threads and fibres.

Application of biopolymers
• Drug delivery systems (medical field),
• Wound closure and healing products (medical field),
• Surgical implant devices (medical field).   

Recent Developments:-
1.         1The nanotechnology and science of tissue engineering developing the structure of biopolymers so they can work as versatile polymer.
  2- The biopolymers are also using in electronics and technology so that flexible tendency of 
     electronic devices are improvising.
  3- Biopolymers are also using as food of ocean creatures. 
   4-Hardening point of biopolymers is fast to respond as they can use in 3D printing flexibly. 

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