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TRENDS

(Recent Developments in the textile & allied fronts)

COTTON BLEACHING :

In recent times we, Electron Group has developed with lots of experience & Practical Demonstrations
has studied a single stage preparatory process (desizing, scouring & bleaching) for cotton fabrics,
Newly Developed Products Based on powerful Wetting & Penetrating Agent & Extra Wetting Agent
based on emulsified solvents system as a scouring agent, to be used along with hydrogen peroxide as
bleaching agent. The treatment is to be carried out at pH 10.5 ( using sodium carbonate) and optimized
the process by using a second order response surface design and compared this process with three stage
conventional preparatory process. It was observed that the pH of the peroxide -–padded cloth was
lowered (pH7) during storage in a steamer, attributable to the presence of acidic impurities in cotton.
This study had been extended to the system buffered to various pH values. Two differently sized
(acrylic and starch tallow CMC sizes) fabrics were bleached at three pH values with or without buffers
(borax for pH 9, sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate for pH 10 & sodium hydroxide for pH 11)
Grey fabrics (cambric 1 and cambric 2 of 68 & 72 gm./ sq.m. respectively) were padded to 80% pick up
with a solution containing 4 % scouring agent, 1% hydrogen peroxide (100%), 1% sodium silicate and
0.1 M buffers.
The padded samples were placed in a Launder O meter at different temperatures (70 C, 80 C, 90 C & 95
C) for different time periods ( 0-120 min.) Blank bleach baths (i.e. without buffers) were also used.
Hydrogen peroxide content on the fabric was estimated iodi-metrically. The copper number and
carboxyl content of the Grey and bleached fabrics were determined using standard procedures. Kinetic
parameters (specific rate constant, time of half change and activation energy) of the decomposition of
hydrogen peroxide on the fabric were determined using pseudo first order kinetics. The rate constant
increases with temperature as well as pH with buffered solution the rate constant values are 2-3 times
higher than the corresponding rate constant values of un buffered solutions, since in the later, the pH is
lowered during bleaching stabilizing the peroxide. For buffered baths, the hydroxyl ion concentration
remains constant, which generates more per-hydroxyl ions :

H2O2 + OH --- HO2 + H2O

The higher the per-hydroxyl ion concentration, the stronger the bleaching action as well as higher the
cellulose degradation level. Due to the ready formation of per-hydroxyl ions throughout the bleaching
time, the rate of peroxide decomposition increases considerably in buffered systems.

The rate of decomposition is slow in the presence of acrylic sized (poly-acryl amide) fabric compared to
the conventional starch sized fabric. However, this causes more damage to cellulose than the starch
based size. The soluble sugars formed by the decomposition of starch present in the fabric also protect
the cellulose in this fabric.