Producing textiles is energy- and material-intensive, and utilizes large volumes of water. The textile industry faces major regulatory and consumer challenges in the management of resources and in implementing production techniques that reduce environmental impacts.
To address the challenges, Genencor, a DuPont division for industrial biotechnology and enzymes, and Huntsman Textile Effects introduced Gentle Power Bleach™, a unique first-to-market enzymatic textile pre-treatment bleaching system which allowed entry into a new market and revenue channel.
Given that an estimated 26 million metric tons of cotton fabric are produced annually, most of which is treated with processes similar to traditional bleaching methods, the potential impact reduction offered by large-scale adoption of an enzyme-based bleaching alternative is significant.
Gentle Power Bleach™ delivers measurable environmental benefits by enabling low-temperature neutral pH bleaching of fabrics, replaces chemicals such as caustic soda, and yields a softer bulkier higher-quality fabric while also reducing fabric loss of up to 50 percent. Results of the peer-reviewed life cycle assessment showed a marked advantage for enzymatic bleaching; up to 40 percent reduction in water and energy consumption and at least a 20 percent benefit in most impact categories, including climate change, human health, ecosystem quality and water use relative to the traditional system.
The joint development has strengthened the customer relationship with Huntsman and paved the way for additional joint development programs.
Grant Recipient: The team has chosen the Sirona Care Foundation which builds sustainable communities by addressing two of the most damaging and persistent patterns in the developing world, poverty and ecological destruction.
Gentle Power Bleach™ is a trademark of Huntsman Textile Effects.