The department of textiles, merchandising and interiors within the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences has received a grant from the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund in support of a team of scientists’ work on an environmentally-friendly fabric dyeing technique.
The $171,371 grant was awarded to TMI professor Sergiy Minko and his team, in partnership with Clemson University, in support of their project “Novel, sustainable and cost-effective textile dyeing techniques using nano-cellulosic fibers.”
This project focuses on an innovative approach to fabric dyeing using nano-cellulose, obtained from widely-available cellulose in wood and in cellulosic waste products generated on farms and in industry, that will greatly reduce, and perhaps eliminate, the need for water in dyeing cotton and cotton/polyester, fabrics and yarns.
“I am very excited to receive this grant that will take our nano-cellulose research to the next level of producing green textiles,” said TMI assistant professor Suraj Sharma. “This research also might support textile supply-chain initiatives to bring manufacturing – wet processing such as dyeing, printing and finishing – back in the U.S. and may boost local employment and create awareness about green technologies.”
The proposed technology will be based on dyeing textiles using colored nano-cellulose that permanently binds to the cotton textile surface as a uniform thin film.
The team believes that because of the high binding forces of dyes to fibers through nano-cellulose, lesser amounts of dyes can be used, and dye remaining in the waste water can be almost eliminated.
The Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund is a partnership between Walmart, the Walmart Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors.
The fund focuses on the development of U.S. manufacturing, specifically making it easier to produce household goods in the United States.
“I am very proud of the innovation this technology demonstrates and that it came out of my alma mater, UGA, and my city,” Athens-Clarke County mayor Nancy Denson said. “I’d like to thank Walmart, the Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors for focusing on development of manufacturing in the U.S. This is the economic piece that will keep our country strong and raise the living standard of our families.”
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