Huntsman Textile Effects and Genencor, a division of Denmark-based Danisco A/S, announced the results of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on GENTLE POWER BLEACH, a bleaching system introduced into the textile pretreatment market in March 2009. As opposed to conventional bleaching systems, GENTLE POWER BLEACH contains unique, first-to-market enzymatic bleaching technology from Genencor, a leading solutions provider in industrial biotechnology.
"Although the cotton pretreatment processing parameters will differ across the globe, we found a substantial advantage for GENTLE POWER BLEACH among each of the many environmental impact categories that we tracked," says Jon Dettling, U.S. Director for Quantis International, the organization that performed the LCA. "For instance, the LCA concludes that if the relative benefits of GENTLE POWER BLEACH were applied to the roughly 26 million tons of cotton produced globally [a 2007-2008 statistic], the savings in freshwater consumption globally could be in the range of 10 trillion liters of water annually, which is more than 1000 liters annually for each person on earth. This result depends strongly on the available information regarding cotton irrigation, but nevertheless illustrates the large potential benefits of the technology. Significant reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions are another benefit of this process. It is estimated that GENTLE POWER BLEACH has the potential to reduce global CO2 emissions by 10-30 million metric tons annually," Dettling adds.
"As outlined last year, Genencor is dedicated to delivering innovative industrial biotechnology solutions which foresee the changing needs of our customers. At the same time, we are pushing the envelope to deliver solutions that also significantly contribute to more sustainable business practices," commented Glenn E. Nedwin, Executive Vice President of the Technical Enzymes business unit at Genencor. "The results of the LCA clearly demonstrate the impact and relevance of enzymatic alternatives to existing technologies for the textile processing industry – reducing water and energy usage while increasing performance – a win/win for the industry."
"Both companies see this technology as a critical step towards a more sustainable textile processing industry," adds Paul Hulme, President from Huntsman Textile Effects. "Our vision is much aligned with the one from Genencor, and that is that we need alternative solutions today to tackle the critical challenges that future generations will face if we don't act now. The LCA proves that we are heading in the right direction. But there's more work to be done in the field of more sustainable textile processing as both consumers and merchandisers are increasingly demanding more responsible practices from the industry."
The LCA is the first of its kind, as it is related to enzymatic bleaching solutions for the textile processing industry. It is ISO 14044 compliant, as it has undergone an external expert peer review. In addition, the results were validated in production, using existing production sites and processes.