Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Textile fabric finds use as catalyst in chemical process
Textile fabric finds use as catalyst in chemical process
Sep '13
In future, it will be much easier to produce some active pharmaceutical substances and chemical compounds than was the case to date. An international team working with chemists from the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr have immobilized various catalysts on nylon in a very simple way. Catalysts mediate between the reagents in a chemical reaction and control the process leading to the desired end product.

When textile material is used as a support for the chemical auxiliaries, the reaction can proceed on a large surface thereby increasing its efficiency. One of the catalysts that the researchers used in this way plays an important role in the synthesis of a pharmaceutical agent which could only be used previously in dissolved form, making the production process very complicated and expensive.

Immobilizing this catalyst on fabric simplifies production considerably. This process may be expected to yield similar advantages for other chemical processes.

Functional textiles are usually understood as the textiles used to make windproof jackets, breathable footwear and particularly effective thermal underwear. However, the term could soon refer to something else – textiles which are “functionalized” with the help of organic catalysts.

Working in collaboration with scientists from the Deutsches Textilforschungszentrum in Krefeld and Sungkyunkwan University in Suwon, Korea, researchers at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr have developed a process for immobilizing different organic catalysts on textiles with the help of ultraviolet light. The fabric thereby acts as a support for the substances on which a chemical reaction occurs.

Up to now, science has focused more on the macroscopic functionality of textiles, for example clothing, explains Ji-Woong Lee who recently completed his doctorate at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung under the supervision of Benjamin List, head of the Institute’s Homogenous Catalysis Group. “As opposed to this, our method can give simple textiles microscopic functionalities,” explains the Korean scientist. Together with his colleagues, Lee armed pieces of nylon with catalysts. The latter can be imagined as chemical tools which fulfil various tasks during chemical reactions.

Excellent yields, little wear and tear

For their tests, the Mühlheim-based researchers used three organic catalysts: a base (dimethylaminopyridine, DMAP), a sulfonic acid and a catalyst which functions as both an acid and a base. The latter is used in the pharmaceuticals industry to steer a reaction to one of two products, which are chemically completely identical. The two forms have mirror-image structures, like a left and right hand, but only one variant has the desired medical effect. Up to now, the catalyst that generates this variant could only be used in dissolved form and then had to be separated again. The complicated separation process could be avoided using a catalyst immobilized on fabric.

Must ReadView All

Apparel/Garments | On 26th Oct 2016

SGS develops 4C chemical management model for apparel

SGS, a leading inspection, auditing, certification, testing, and...

Textiles | On 26th Oct 2016

Platinum Equity acquires International Textile Group

International Textile Group (ITG) has been acquired by Platinum...

Textiles | On 26th Oct 2016

Whitehouse & URI Business Centre start RI textile network

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the University of Rhode Island...

Interviews View All

Karan Suratwala
Key Textile Accessories Private Limited

Chinese imports are destroying the supply chain

Evelyne Cholet

‘France had a reputation of being big in new ideas, but poor in marketing...

Karan Toshniwal
Orange O Tec

Contemporary industry is paying more and more attention to the...

Marcel Alberts

Coating at a fibre level is a practice not usually seen in the...

Urs Stalder
Sanitized AG

Urs Stalder, CEO, Sanitized AG, talks about the increasing use of hygiene...

Suresh Patel
Sidwin Fabric

Sidwin Fabric is a manufacturer and exporter of polypropylene textiles and ...

Mike Hoffman
Gildan Activewear SRL

Gildan Activewear, a manufacturer and marketer of branded clothing and...

Igor Chapurin

"Now we can see the Russian trend in international fashion. And Russian...

Ritu Kumar
Label Ritu Kumar

‘Classics will return’ "There are a lot of people wearing western clothes ...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies

October 2016

October 2016

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.


Browse Our Archives


Advanced Search