Evaluation of xylanase and laccase enzymes with microwave treatment, to break down cotton seed coat fragments
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Enzymatic applications have various advantages that make this an ideal process to be adapted in the textile industry. But limitation such as failure in removing seed coat fragments (SCF’s) from cotton greige fabric during bio-scouring prevents the overall acceptance of enzymatic applications. Cotton seed coat fragments are recalcitrant by nature and are found embedded in the fabric surface. SCF’s were subjected to four groups of treatments including conventional sodium hydroxide at three different concentrations, enzymatic treatments including xylanase and laccase enzymes, 2.5 min and 5 min microwave treatments and a combination of microwave and enzymatic treatments. The effectiveness of the treatment on SCF’s were evaluated by measuring the weight loss obtained for the SCF’s, analyzing the sugar content present in the supernatant separated from SCF’s using GC-MS and measuring any change in the chemical structure of SCF using FTIR, and Raman spectroscopy (SERS). The overall conclusion to be drawn from this research is that enzymes alone cannot be used to effectively break down the SCF’s due to their complex structure. By combining microwave pretreatment with enzymatic treatments gave results that were comparable to conventional treatments.