Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Nebraska scientist uses sorghum by-products to colour
Nebraska scientist uses sorghum by-products to colour
02
Aug '17
Courtesy: Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Courtesy: Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Nebraska researcher Yiqi Yang is using the by-products of sorghum as a colourant for textiles. The Charles Bessey Professor of biological systems engineering and of texiles, merchandising and fashion design is using wool to start his research, but hopes that in the future sorghum can be used on other textiles and throughout many industries.

Sorghum is a cereal grain used for food in some countries, but in the United States it is commonly used as livestock feed and turned into ethanol. Sorghum is also a major source for making liquor. The grain tends to be drought resistant, making it a popular crop to grow in dry climates.

After using the sorghum starch for industrial applications, the co-products and by-products that remain are called distillers grain. Distillers grain from corn digests easier than sorghum, so Yang’s research looks to add a better value application for the sorghum industry for Nebraska. Yang and a group of PhD students are currently working to see if the higher cross-linked proteins can have industrial applications, such as food-packaging materials or fibres for textiles

A unique part of the research involves the sorghum husks. The husks contain a dark natural colour that can be used as a colourant. Some have tried to use it as a food additive, however Yang tries to use it for more large-scale approaches.

“If one could use it as a colourant for textiles, we’re talking about a huge demand,” Yang said. “This research is helping more than just the textile industry. By finding additional uses for co-products and by-products we’re adding value for farmers.”

The team started out by dyeing wool because it can carry positive charges, which creates a better dye sorption since natural colourants generally carry negative charges and because the value addition is high. Yang believes that silks and nylons also have the potential to dye well.

While the hope is to eventually use the natural colourant from the sorghum husks to dye all types of textiles, cotton has been put on the backburner. Yang explains that there isn’t enough of a value increase to cotton to encourage consumers to purchase a naturally dyed textile, because cotton is already a cheap material, and because natural cellulosics do not carry positive charges.

“You add more value to these highly valuable materials than cotton,” says Yang. “If you work on the more valuable materials, the value addition is higher. Later, if the technology matures and the cost decreases, then of course we can work with other materials.”

Once available, this natural colourant could reach a large market of consumers and brands. Yang says that there is a place for this natural co-product everywhere that you use colourants including plastics, food additives, packaging materials, cosmetics and even hair dyes. The project started with textiles and they have found some unique properties that make the product even more useful in other industries. For example, because the co-products of sorghum are fluorescent with an ultraviolet light, it could be used as a tracing material for biomedical applications, such as tracking the movement of particles in the body.

Yang and his team are collaborating with researchers from Jiangnan University in China on this project. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


Must ReadView All

Last-minute changes in USMCA keeps lid on e-com

Textiles | On 18th Oct 2018

Last-minute changes in USMCA keeps lid on e-com

Eleventh hour changes to a new trade deal torpedoed US hopes of...

Courtesy: Haggar

Apparel/Garments | On 18th Oct 2018

Haggar uses Repreve fibre made of recycled water bottles

Haggar, a US based apparel brand established in 1926, has recycled...

Courtesy: Pexels

Apparel/Garments | On 18th Oct 2018

Myanmar’s CMP garment export earnings $2.2 bn in Apr-Sept

In the six-month April -September mini budget this year, earnings...

Interviews View All

Mukesh Agarwal & Rajesh Agarwal, Madhuram Fincap Pvt Ltd

Mukesh Agarwal & Rajesh Agarwal
Madhuram Fincap Pvt Ltd

Increasing prices and lack of demand main issues facing industry

Anvita Mehra, Confidential Couture

Anvita Mehra
Confidential Couture

‘It is going to take some time for Indian buyers to get accustomed to...

Janak Dhamanwala & Sunil Dhamanwala, Jansun

Janak Dhamanwala & Sunil Dhamanwala
Jansun

Moving towards sustainability is also a social change

Nitesh Mittal,

Nitesh Mittal

Kusumgar Corporates is a leading manufacturer of technical textiles and...

Franco Ravazzi,

Franco Ravazzi

Italy-based Tessimenti E Orditi Tinti (T.O.T SRL) specialises in stocking...

Erik Sy,

Erik Sy

Manila-based CustomThread is a start-up offering premium custom apparel...

Iago Castro Asensio, RCfil Distribuciones S.L.

Iago Castro Asensio
RCfil Distribuciones S.L.

Iago Castro Asensio, International Business Manager of RCfil...

Silke Brand-Kirsch, Schlegel und Partner

Silke Brand-Kirsch
Schlegel und Partner

Silke Brand-Kirsch, executive partner of Schlegel und Partner, a leading...

Andreas Lukas, Andritz Nonwoven

Andreas Lukas
Andritz Nonwoven

With forces in engineering and process development, Andritz Nonwoven...

Hemant & Nandita, Hemant & Nandita

Hemant & Nandita
Hemant & Nandita

The designer duo of Hemant & Nandita are known for being inspired by...

Tony Ward, Tony Ward

Tony Ward
Tony Ward

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

Sonam & Paras Modi, SVA

Sonam & Paras Modi
SVA

Sonam and Paras Modi's Sva Couture is synonymous with head-turning...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

Leave your Comments


October 2018

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

news category


Related Categories:

Advanced Search