Betulin-modified cellulosic textile fibers with improved water repellency, hydrophobicity and antibacterial properties

Detta är en avhandling från KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Sammanfattning: Textiles made from natural sources, such as cotton and flax, have advantages over those made of synthetic fibers in terms of sustainability. Unlike major synthetic fibers that have a negative impact on the environment due to poor biodegradability, cotton cellulose is a renewable material.Cotton cellulose fibers exhibit various attractive characteristics such as softness and inexpensiveness. Cellulosic textiles can be easily wetted, since the structure contains a large amount of hydrophilic hydroxyl groups, and when water repellency is needed, this is a disadvantage. Currently, paraffin waxes or fluorinated silanes are used to achieve hydrophobicity, but this contradicts the concept of green chemistry since these chemicals are not biodegradable. The use of bio-based materials like forest residues or side-streams from forest product industries might be a good alternative, since this not only decreases the pressure on the environment but can also increase the value of these renewable resources.Betulin is a hydrophobic extractive present in the outer bark of birch trees (Betula verrucosa). Nowadays, the birch bark containing betulin generated in the paper industry is disposed of by incineration as a solid fuel to provide energy, but this application is not highly valuable and this motivates us to see whether betulin can be used as a hydrophobe to prepare waterproof cellulosic textiles. Methods of dip-coating, film compression molding and grafting were performed to build “betulin-cellulosic textile system” to render the textile with hydrophobicity and other functions. The textile impregnated in a solution of betulin-based copolymer exhibited a contact angle of 151°, which indicated that superhydrophobicity can be reached. AATCC water spray test results showed that cellulosic textile coated with betulin-based film had a water repellency of 80, which is the third highest class according to the rating standards. Betulin-grafted textiles were also prepared and showed a static water contact angle of 136°, and an antibacterial property with a bacterial removal of 99%.This thesis proposes that betulin can be used as a green alternative in functional material preparation. By developing betulin, a more value-added application rather than incineration can be achieved.