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Development of sustainable, biodegradable and compostable nonwovens

Made from soft fibres, nonwoven fabrics are typically used as the top sheets of absorbent hygiene products. In conventional sanitary pads, the top sheet is made from polypropylene (PP) or perforated polyethylene (PE), both of which are non-biodegradable and are by-products derived from petrochemicals.

Our Nonwovens department is centred around utilizing renewable resources to make sustainable products that can also biodegrade without leaving any microplastics or toxic residue behind. We focus on utilizing natural cellulosic fibres such as jute, banana fibre, sisal, hemp, flax, etc that can offer a sustainable alternative to conventional, synthetic, non-biodegradable fibres. Our research areas at the present include:


1. 100% plant-based, natural cellulose fibres for making nonwovens
2. Sustainable regenerated cellulose derived from non-wood fibres

100% plant-based, natural cellulose fibres for making nonwovens

At our Nonwovens lab, we are conducting research on developing fibre processing technology to transform raw natural fibres such as banana fibre, jute fibres, hemp and flax to produce sustainable, tree-free and plastic-free nonwoven fabrics suitable for absorbent hygiene products. By replacing synthetic and non-biodegradable fibres that follow traditional 'take-make-waste' linear economy, we are focusing on utilizing renewable resources and using natural, biodegradable and compostable fibres that support a circular economy.

To obtain clean, bright, and intact natural cellulose fibres, we eliminate the non-cellulosic parts of the plant such as lignins, gums, pectins, and hemicellulose through a series of environmentally-responsible processes and treatments.

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100% plant based natural cellulose fibres for making nonwovens

At our Nonwovens lab, we are conducting research on developing fibre processing technology to transform raw natural fibres such as banana fibre, jute fibres, hemp and flax to produce sustainable, tree-free and plastic-free nonwoven fabrics suitable for absorbent hygiene products. By replacing synthetic and non-biodegradable fibres that follow traditional take-make-waste linear economy, we are focusing on utilizing renewable resources and using natural, biodegradable and compostable fibres that support a circular economy.

To obtain clean, bright, and intact natural cellulose fibres, we eliminate the non-cellulosic parts of the plant such as lignins, gums, pectins, and hemicellulose through a series of environmentally-responsible processes and treatments that include fibre extraction, decorticating, degumming (chemical, microbial, and enzyme process), mechanical cleaning, fibre softening, carding, and combing, while maintaining the fibre length, diameter, brightness and overall fibre integrity. In order to enhance softness and to make the fibres suitable for specific tailormade applications, we apply additional treatments to individual fibres or small fibre bundles so that single cellulosic strands can get separated and be freed from the fibre matrix.

Sustainable regenerated cellulose derived from non-wood fibres

Along with developing fibre processing technology to transform 100% natural fibres into hygiene-grade nonwovens, we are also conducting research on utilizing agro-based, renewable plant fibres such as bamboo, bagasse (sugarcane fibre), jute and hemp fibres to develop regenerated cellulose via an environmentally-friendly, sustainable, low energy, low water, closed-loop system which can recycle almost all the chemicals used in production.

As an alternative source of fibre to conventional. non-biodegradable, synthetic fibres, environmentally responsibly produced regenerated cellulose can act as a sustainable, biodegradable and compostable alternative.

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Sustainable regenerated cellulose derived from non-wood fibres

Along with developing fibre processing technology to transform 100% natural fibres into hygiene grade nonwovens, we are also conducting research on utilizing agro-based renewable plant fibres such as bamboo, bagasse (sugarcane fibre), jute and hemp fibres to develop regenerated cellulose via an environmentally-friendly, sustainable, low energy, low water, closed-loop system which can recycle almost all the chemicals used in production.

As an alternative source of fibre to conventional, non-biodegradable, synthetic fibres, environmentally responsibly produced regenerated cellulose can act as a sustainable, biodegradable and compostable alternative. As regenerated cellulose can be made of nanofibrils, it can offer superior wicking and absorption properties which can be ideal for sensitive skin.

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