Optimization of enzymatic process for preparation of absorbent cotton
An ecofriendly process has been developed for preparation of absorbent cotton using short staple fibres of cotton. Thecrude enzyme extract of solid state fermentation has been employed for absorbent cotton preparation and the treatmentconditions are optimized. Five gram of short staple fibre is used in each treatment. Under optimized solid state fermentationconditions, such as fungal strain (P. flabellatus), substrate composition (banana pseudo stem, cottonseed hulls andcottonseed meal in the ratio of 60:30:10) and fermentation period (5 days), the absorbency recorded is found 7 s. In anotherexperiment, process parameters of single bath enzymatic scouring and bleaching process are also optimized. Underoptimized process conditions, such as enzyme extract (30 %), temperature (60ºC), time (40 min), pH (9.0) and wetting agent(0.1%), the absorbency is found 2 s and whiteness index is 31.5 (CIE method). The pectinase and laccase activity recordedin the enzyme extract is found to be 28.1 and 6 units per milliliter respectively. The enzymes remain active at differenttemperature and pH tested. The characterization using scanning electron microscope (SEM) reveals the fibre surfacemodification in the enzyme treated cotton.
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