Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Eco-friendly wood dissolution to be used in making of textiles – QUB Scientists
Eco-friendly wood dissolution to be used in making of textiles – QUB Scientists
May '09
Scientists at Queen's University have discovered a new eco-friendly way of dissolving wood that may help its transformation into popular products such as bio fuels, textiles, clothes and paper.

Dr Héctor Rodríguez and Professor Robin Rogers from the University's School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering worked along with The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, to come up with a more cost and energy efficient way of processing wood.

Their solution, which is reported in the journal Green Chemistry, may see a new sustainable future for industry based on bio-renewable resources.

At present wood is broken down mainly by the Kraft pulping process, which originates from the 19th century and uses a wasteful technology relying on polluting chemicals.

The key reason for tolerating this method is that it is very difficult to break down and separate the different elements of wood. Until now any alternatives to the process have presented similar problems.

The Queen's researchers found that chips of both softwood and hardwood dissolved completely in ionic liquid and only mild conditions of temperature and pressure were needed. By controlled addition of water and a water-acetone mixture, the dissolved wood was partially separated into a cellulose-rich material and pure lignin.

This process is much more environmentally-friendly than the current method as it uses less heat and pressure and produces very low toxicity while remaining biodegradable.

Professor Robin Rogers said: “This is a very important discovery because cellulose and lignin have a wide variety of uses. Cellulose can be used to make products such as paper, biofuels, cotton and linen, as well as many other commodity materials and chemicals.

“Lignin can be used to create performance additives in various applications, such as strengthening cars and airplanes with a fraction of the weight of conventional reinforcement materials. It is also a source of other chemicals which are mainly obtained from petroleum-based resources.”

Dr Héctor Rodríguez said: “The discovery is a significant step towards the development of the biorefinery concept, where biomass is transformed to produce a wide variety of chemicals. Eventually, this may open a door to a truly sustainable chemical industry based on bio-renewable resources.”

The approaches that the scientists are considering for the future include the addition of eco-friendly additives to the ionic liquid system or the use of catalysts.

The researchers are hoping to eventually achieve better dissolution under even softer conditions and are also trying to achieve complete separation of the different elements in one single step.

Both teams are also focusing on biomasses which are rich in essential oils and can later be used in processes such as the manufacture of fragrances.

Queen University

Must ReadView All

Textiles | On 27th Oct 2016

Teijin Frontier develops Solotex RC lightweight fibre

Teijin Frontier Co. Ltd, fibre products converting company and part...

Tosha Hays addressing the conference. Courtesy: College of Family and Consumer Sciences, UGA

Textiles | On 27th Oct 2016

Industry experts discuss future of fabrics at UGA

Industry experts, researchers and military officials discussed the...

Textiles | On 27th Oct 2016

Fischer Konzept installs sixth Zünd digital cutter

Fischer Konzept, German developers of individual packaging solutions...

Interviews View All

Sunil Rathore
Lacoste India

‘New vendor is welcome if he offers cost, quality and timely delivery’

Saket Garg
Garg Corporation

The biggest challenge is lack of skilled workforce and competition from...

Neel Sawhney
One Friday

‘The share of kidswear segment in the online sector is still small in...

Larry L Kinn
Suominen Corporation

Larry L Kinn, Senior Vice President - Operations Americas of Suominen...

Kai Poehler
Voith Paper GmbH & Co. KG

The glass mat industry is growing by five to eight per cent annually. Kai...

Eamonn Tighe
Nature Works LLC

Eamonn Tighe, Fibres and Nonwovens - Business Development Manager of...

Yash P. Kotak
Bombay Hemp Company

One of the directors of Bombay Hemp Company, Yash P. Kotak, speaks to...

Wendell Rodricks
Wendell Rodricks

"We should not compare India and the West. There are things we do that...

Tony Ward
Tony Ward

"You have to truly understand what your client wants, know her needs, what ...

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