The goal of the GRETE initiative is to exploit modified wood pulp to manufacture regenerated cellulose fibres with improved dyeability and reduced environmental footprint for potential application in the textile and clothing sector. Now that the joint research activity is in its final phase, the consortium partners are starting to draw their conclusions and disseminate the results in the scientific community.
On the 8th and 9th of September, Filipe Matos, research fellow at the CICECO Institute of Materials, presented the poster “Preparation and characterization of cationic regenerated cellulose fibres with improved dyeing properties” in the 5th International EPNOE Junior Scientist Meeting 2022. He investigated the successful heterogenous modification of regenerated wood pulp cellulose fibers with the aim of improving dye uptake.
Modified regenerated cellulose fibers were studied in detail in terms of degree of substitution, structure, crystallinity, morphology, surface charge and wettability, thermal stability, and dye uptake capacity.
The grafting of cationic pending groups generated modified cellulose fibers with distinct morphologies, surface wettability values and thermal stability temperatures up to 220°C. Additionally, the modified cellulose exhibits higher dye exhaustion and dye fixation values than the non-modified regenerated cellulose, reaching maxima values of 89.3% ± 0.9% and 80.6% ± 1.3%.
In view of these results, regenerated wood pulp fibers from the pulp and paper industry can potentially be utilized as textile fibers with good dye uptake capacity that may possibly provide an alternative for dyeing treatments. The entire discussion and results are available in the open access publication on Polysaccharides from MDPI.
Filipe Matos developed his work with the support of the researchers at the University of Aveiro, and the GRETE partners VTT and Metsä Spring. The collaboration definitely was a success receiving the conference’s Best Poster Award.
With less than a year left until the conclusion of the GRETE collaboration, it is fantastic to see the recognition of the impeccable work and the support provided to young researchers by all partners in this great consortium. Congratulations from all the members!