PROTEX

Project Title
Treatment of wool with chemically modified proteases
Project Type
Internacional / Public
Funding Body
Funding Program
V PQ
Reference
G1RD-CT-2002-00695
Funding
  • CEB: 0,00
  • Total: 201 600,00
Start
01-06-2002
End
31-08-2005
Partnership
NETHERLANDS ORGANISATION FOR APPLIED SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH - TNO, UNIVERSIDADE DO MINHO, GRAZ UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, JAMES WEEKER SINCE 1927, OVIS TEXLA, ALPHACHEM SPECIALITIES LTD, JOHN GLADSTONE (DYERS AND FINISHERS) LIMITED

Principal Investigator

Abstract

The market value of wool is limited by the fact that consumers place increasingly high demands on machine wash ability and soft handle. Felting, which is a typical property of wool due to the configuration of the scales of the wool fibre, is a serious problem, especially during washing. Chlorination, followed by polymer deposition, is commonly used to confer shrink-resistance, but this involves major drawbacks with respect to chlorine and the environment. The main aspect of this proposal is to develop a novel enzymatic process for producing machine washable wool by limiting the enzymatic degradation of wool fibres to their cuticle scales. The novel engineered enzymes will be developed to achieve this goal. The radically new bioprocessing regimes for wool scouring and finishing processes, and commercial products will be developed. This would be a major technological breakthrough to completely replace a hazardous chemical preparation and finishing route.