Dyeing one kg of textile materials requires the use of an estimated 100-150 litres of water, as well as several harmful chemicals. Until now, that is…
DyeCoo situated in Weesp, The Netherlands, has developed the first 100% water-free and process chemicalfree large scale dyeing solution for textiles.
DyeCoo’s unique process is based on the use of supercritical fluid carbon dioxide (SFC) technology, which involves heating carbon
dioxide to above 31° C and pressurising it. In this condition, the CO2 becomes supercritical, which is a state of matter that can be seen as
an expanded liquid or a heavily compressed gas. In this phase between liquid and gas, the dye dissolves very easily. This technology has been around for some years, but it wasn’t possible to scale it up to an industrial size before.
The technology uses a beam dying construction, where the fabric is rolled on a beam and placed into a vessel. Next, the CO2 runs through the dyestuff, absorbing the dye and being dissolved into the textiles. No less then 95% of the CO2, which is used in the process, is recycled after each batch.
The dyeing production process is also shorter and uses less energy. This doesn’t only contribute to the sustainability of the process, it also
helps to keep operational costs down. Another important plus is that no additional chemicals – such as surfactants – are necessary. Nevertheless, DyeCoo’s technology allows for a more even colour distribution and uses 50% less dyestuff to get the job done. The savings in energy, water consumption, chemicals and dyestuff can reduce companies’ cost by 40-60%. So DyeCoo’s technology successfully combines profitability with sustainability.
Meanwhile, DyeCoo’s R&D division keeps on developing methods, which will allow even more energy savings. The company is also negotiating with several dyestuff providers across the globe to encourage them to develop dyes that are tailor made for DyeCoo’s technology.
Luckily, textile manufacturers recognise the potential of this new technology. Sporting giant Nike is one of the first companies that actually
uses DyeCoo technology for its collection of polo shirts. If the entire textile industry adopts DyeCoo’s waterless dyeing process, enough
water can be saved to provide every person on earth with an extra 1.000 litres of water each year. This could also eliminate countless billions of litres of polluted discharges into waterways near manufacturing plants in Asia, where much of the world’s textile dyeing takes place.
Recently, DyeCoo made it onto the prestigious 2015 Global Cleantech 100 list. This list – put together by Cleantech Group - features companies that are best positioned to solve tomorrow’s clean technology challenges with the highest potential to make the most significant market impact.