Cotton Incorporated, Cary, N.C., and DuPont Industrial Biosciences — a business unit of Wilmington,
Del.-based DuPont — recently reported the results of a joint trial in which they evaluated the
effectiveness of biobased enzymes in preparing cotton knit textiles, compared to the effectiveness
of traditional processing chemicals. The trials showed that a combination of biobased enzymes can
replace caustic chemicals in cotton textile processing, while at the same time reducing water and
energy consumption and processing time.
On average, reductions included 70 percent of water, 33 percent of steam, and 27 percent of
energy across all shade ranges. Cost reductions using the bio-optimized process averaged 66
percent. Time savings ranged from 23 percent for dark shades to 30 percent for light shades.
Used in combination, bio-enzymes for scouring, bleaching and dyeing reduce water usage
because the same water bath can be used for more than one process, said trial supervisor Mary
Ankeny, director of dyeing research, Cotton Incorporated. Energy reductions stem from the fact that
textiles can be prepared at significantly reduced temperatures when bio-enzymes are used in an
optimized process compared to using traditional chemicals in traditional processes.