Dutch enzyme maker eyes textile processing market

22 July 2009 00:29  [Source: ICIS news]

MONTREAL, CANADA (ICIS news)--Dutch enzyme producer Genencor wants to expand into the $18bn (€12.7bn) textile and garment processing market by replacing other chemicals with its enzymes, a company official said on Tuesday.

“Enzymes account for just about 1% of the whole global textile chemical processing. This is a huge potential market for us,” said Glenn Nedwin, vice president, technical enzymes at Genencor, who presented at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing in Montreal.

Nedwin said Genencor's PrimaGreen product line would benefit the textile-processing industry by replacing harsh chemicals, lowering temperatures for textile processing, decreasing water consumption and reducing waste and water emissions.

“Reducing water consumption is especially necessary in India, which is a major textile processing market,” said Nedwin.

He noted textile wet processing as the most environmentally hazardous production stage within the textile supply chain. Huge amounts of water and high levels of energy are consumed in this operation, he said.

“Effluents or waste water can contain high concentrations of harmful substances during wet processing operations. Workers can be exposed to a number of potential health hazards,” Nedwin added.

One of Genencor’s new enzyme products is PrimaGreen EcoWhite, which is being marketed under a bleaching system called Gentle Power Bleach developed in collaboration with US chemical company Huntsman.

The system significantly reduces energy and water consumption in wet textile processing, while improving fabric quality, said Nedwin.

Genencor also introduced early this year its PrimaGreen EcoFade LT100 enzyme for denim bleaching. Nedwin said the enzyme reduces both energy consumption and CO2 production by almost 90%.

Genencor estimated the global market for textile bleaching/scouring at $1bn in 2007.

The three-day industrial biotechnology conference ends Wednesday.

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