Understanding fiber properties of relevance for better enzymatic solutions

Novozymes, the world leader in development of technical enzymatic solutions, has for the past two years explored LINX collaborations to elucidate the structural changes in cellulose fiber materials. “We have done a set of proof of concept studies: X-ray Micro Computed Tomography (X-ray µCT) with DTU, small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering (SAS) with KU, and X-ray diffraction with AU. Our effort is a good example of Public Private Partnership (PPP) where the LINX setup has allowed us to assess advanced technologies relevant for applications from household laundry to biomass utilization” comments Thomas H. Callisen, Senior Manager at Novozymes (see also Imaging laundry greasy and whiteness problems).

“Our goal for X-ray µCT was to characterize the fiber dimensions in cotton textiles via image analyses”, says Carsten Gundlach (DTU). Figure 1 illustrates modelling results where color coding corresponds to the direction of propagation of the cellulose fibers for each analyzed volume element. A very different approach was taken with SAS techniques. Erik Brok (KU) explains:”SESANS extends the length scale probed by regular SAS from the nano- to the micro-meter region, enabling us to model the average dimensions of the cellulose fiber walls and distinguish our samples.”

Figure 1: Visualization from X-ray µCT of the complex nature of woven cotton where the colors indicate local orientation of the cellulose fibers.

Figure 2: Example of SESANS results on textile samples and model of average cotton fiber dimensions.

Watch a video about Novozymes Imaging laundry greasy and whiteness problems.

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