Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Insects supply chitin as a raw material for the textile industry

05.06.2018

Harmful chemicals are often used in textile processing. That is why the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB is researching harmless biobased alternatives. The Institute is working on utilizing side streams from the animal feed manufacture for the production of chitosan. The biopolymer is supposed to be used as a sizing agent in the processing of yarns or for the functionalization of textiles. Fraunhofer IGB will present its work at the ACHEMA trade fair from June 11 – 15 in Frankfurt am Main.

Chitin is a major component of insect skins and shells; large quantities of it result from the production of animal feed – ever since the feed industry has increasingly relied on insects as protein suppliers. Insects have the advantage that they reproduce quickly and can be bred cheaply on low-value substrates.


After pupae shed their skin, pupal exuviae remain as residual stream.

Fraunhofer IGB

This makes them a sustainable source of protein. So far, soya has been used for this purpose, but its cultivation is in direct competition with food production. Insect proteins have already been approved for poultry and pig feed. Since summer 2017, they can also be used as feeding stuff for fish. It is therefore to be expected that the use of insect proteins will become even more important in the future.

Insects supply feed proteins – the waste product chitin is as a valuable recyclable material

The feed industry is focused on proteins, but the skins and shells of insects remain as a waste product. If they can also be utilized, this contributes to the sustainability and economic efficiency of the overall feed production. The potential is enormous: in the course of their development, the larvae of the insects shed their skins several times. The remaining molting products consist up to 40 percent of chitin.

In the joint project “ChitoTex”, the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB is investigating how insect chitin from animal feed production can be processed to supply biobased chemicals for textile processing.

“For a long time now, we have been working on the development of processes for the recycling of residual and waste materials and therefore have the necessary expertise,” explains Dr. Susanne Zibek, who heads the research area of industrial biotechnology at the Institute.

Biopolymer chitosan as a substitute for environmentally harmful fluorocarbons

At first, the Fraunhofer researchers have developed a purification process to separate chitin from further components of the insect skins such as proteins and minerals. “We are investigating various ways of deacetylating chitin to produce chitosan,” Zibek explains. "With an enzyme screening for example, we search for suitable enzymes for the deacetylation process".

Due to its ability to form films, chitosan can be used as a sizing agent. This reduces friction in weaving machines and prevents the roughening or breaking of yarns in the weaving process; after that the sizing agent is either washed out again or remains on the yarn. In either case, biobased and natural alternatives to synthetic agents are beneficial for man and environment.

The second possible application is the functionalization of textiles, i.e. the finishing of textile fabrics with specific properties. “For example, we want to use the functional amino group to link hydrophobic molecules with the chitosan. Water-repellent properties can be achieved when applied to textiles.” Until now, environmentally harmful fluorocarbons are widely used for the hydrophobic finishing of outdoor textiles.

Presentation at the ACHEMA

At the ACHEMA from June 11–15, 2018 in Frankfurt am Main, Fraunhofer IGB will be available for further information and discussions at the Fraunhofer joint stand in Hall 9.2, Booth D66.

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.igb.fraunhofer.de/en/press-media/press-releases/2018/insects-supply-...

Dr. Claudia Vorbeck | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht Medica 2019: Arteriosclerosis - new technologies help to find proper catheters and location of vasoconstriction
11.11.2019 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Laser versus weeds: LZH shows Farming 4.0 at the Agritechnica
08.11.2019 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New opportunities in additive manufacturing presented

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden demonstrates manufacturing of copper components

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...

Im Focus: New Pitt research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.

New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...

Im Focus: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

Im Focus: A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future 'quantum internet'

The algorithm represents a first step in the automated learning of quantum information networks

Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...

Im Focus: Distorted Atoms

In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.

An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

Smart lasers open up new applications and are the “tool of choice” in digitalization

30.10.2019 | Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New opportunities in additive manufacturing presented

14.11.2019 | Materials Sciences

Massive photons in an artificial magnetic field

14.11.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer Radio Technology becomes part of the worldwide Telecom Infra Project (TIP)

14.11.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>