A life cycle assessment (LCA) conducted recently by Novozymes A/S, Denmark, shows that the use of
enzymes in textile processing can reduce water and energy consumption, carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions and processing time.
Possible savings per ton of knitted fabric include up to 70,000 liters of water and 1 ton of
CO2, as well as a 20- to 25-percent reduction in processing time. Textile and apparel maker Esquel
Group, Hong Kong, has conducted several trials in which Novozymes solutions were applied at
different production stages and reports that the use of Novozymes enzymatic solution in place of
conventional technology enabled it to save 30 cubic meters of water per ton of knitted fabric just
in the bleaching process.
Novozymes notes that with the use of enzymes, water consumption is reduced because processes
can be combined, effluent toxicity is reduced, and fewer rinses are required after one process than
when traditional chemicals are used. The enzymes degrade quickly into harmless compounds; and
smaller amounts are required for textile processing compared to conventional chemical requirements.
In addition, water and effluent treatment costs are reduced.