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Natural pigments from autumn leaves can colour textiles
07
Nov '16
Courtesy: VTT Technical Research Centre
Courtesy: VTT Technical Research Centre
A team of researchers from Finland are working on developing leaf-processing technologies to obtain natural pigments from autumn leaves, which can be used for colouring textiles. Autumn leaves derive their colour from orange and yellow carotenoids and red anthocyanins, and contain many other beneficial compounds, carbohydrates and proteins.

Researchers at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland dried and ground leaves gathered in gardens and parks to extract their compounds. The processing stages were developed by VTT in laboratory experiments and R&D has now entered the piloting stage. Special attention was paid to the environmental friendliness of the overall process and the safety of the compounds produced.

“In laboratory experiments, we discovered several, promising alternative ways of utilising leaves. Piloting assays are under way, in which we are examining how our methods work in practice and what quantities of valuable compounds can be extracted from the leaves,” said Liisa Nohynek, senior scientist at VTT.

The chemical composition of leaves varies largely between different tree species. Added value can be obtained by processing the autumn leaves of certain tree types only, thereby producing well-defined compounds suitable for new products.

Residual biomass that is left after extraction is also high in nutrients and suitable for cosmetic and hygiene products. Nohynek believes that the methods developed by VTT are applicable for raw material processors in textile and cosmetic industries. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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