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Courtesy of Mike Allen and Steve Gschmeissner

BIV Round 2: SEADYES: Use of seaweed as a sustainable feedstock for dye extraction and application in the textile industry: screening, extraction and dyeing

Principle investigator: Michele Stanley
Scottish Association for Marine Science

Partner: Crùbag

The textile industry generates 1 trillion USD globally, employs 35 million people world-wide and it is one the biggest global polluters. Nearly 140,000 tons of synthetic dyes are lost to the environment with negative impacts. The textile industry is in a dire need of natural and sustainable dyes. Crùbag is an established business in the ocean-inspired fashion & textile industry. With our partner Crùbag, we propose to use seaweed as a sustainable feedstock for natural dye production and application in the textile industry. We will screen 5 local seaweed species: 1 green alga (Ulva sp.), 2 red algae (Palmaria palmata and Ceramium sp.), and 2 brown algae (Alaria esculenta and Laminaria sp.). We have selected these species because they are native and readily available in Scotland, some are already cultivated onsite at SAMS seaweed farm, and they provide commercially attractive colour ranges (green, pink, red, and brown). We will quantify the pigments in all the species using both spectroscopy and HPLC. We will test and compare 4 solvent-free extraction methods (physical maceration, microwave assisted extraction, temperature assisted extraction (freezing and thawing, and boiling) and natural fermentation. We will also evaluate the need for pigment separation and purification. Finally, we will test several dyeing techniques and dye fixation (pH, Temp, UV light and fixative addition). SAMS will collaborate with Crùbag to optimize the dyeing process and facilitate long-term interaction. If successful, our SEADYES project will lead to development of new IP.