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Chementator: Slash water and energy requirements with this dyeing process

By Chemical Engineering |

The conventional way to dye textiles is by the so-called dip process, whereby cloth is first immersed into a vat of the dying medium, then removed and dried. The dye is then thermally fixed to the textile by heating to 150°C, and the excess dye removed by washing and drying steps. These wash and dry steps use large volumes of water, which then becomes contaminated with dye, and the drying and fixing steps are energy intensive. Mitsubishi Pencil Co. (Tokyo; edlinks.chemengonline.com/5827-537) has developed a new dyeing process that consumes significantly less water and energy than required by conventional dip dying methods. The process relies on dispersions of ultrafine nanoparticles of hydrophilic pigments, which were developed together with Denenchofu Roman Co. (Tokyo) and Tsuyakin Kogyo Co (Aichi, both Japan). In the new process, the textile is dipped into an aqueous dispersion of new dyeing agents consisting of hydrophilic pigments (particle size below 100 nm), adhesive polymers to fix the pigments to textiles, and cross-linking agents. The pigments impregnate the fibers of the textile, which is then squeezed through rollers to remove excess agents and to partially dry the cloth. A subsequent thermal treatment at 100–120°C…
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