Investigation of the binding effect of fungal fiber (grown on apple pomace) in the formation of lyocell nonwoven textiles and their potential applications
Abstract: This project combines nonwoven technology, biological technology and food waste management and seeks for this feasibility to use fungal microfiber (FM) as a binder for lyocell pro-duction and the characterizations for possible applications. Rhizopus delemar was cultivated apple pomace in liquid-state fermentation to obtain mycelia biomass. The biomass was later blended in a kitchen blender for one minute. The blended FM was later mixed with 6 mm lyocell fibre at different FM dry weight percentage and water to make nonwoven webs by wet-laid method. The feasibility of using fungal microfiber as a binder for lyocell nonwovens was confirmed in this study. It is not possible to make nonwoven webs using lyocell short fibre without any binder applied. With 5%_FM, the tensile strength of lyocell nonwoven webs reached 0.0989 MPa. A clear increasing tensile strength was recorded as the increasing of FM weight per-centage and resulted a highest tensile strength at 9.38 MPa when applying 60%_FM. The re-sult of water contact angle proved that the increasing FM could decrease the hydrophobicity of nonwoven samples. Abrasion test showed that FM could improve the abrasion resistance of the lyocell nonwoven samples. Porosity test showed that lyocell nonwoven samples with a higher FM ended up with smaller mean flow pore size diameter (MFP) that nonwoven samples with 65%_FM has an average MFP at 7.26 m m. The SEM images reviled that FM bonded nonwoven webs had a fibrous structure, which is due to binding effect of fungal microfiber on lyocell short fibers. These characterizations have demonstrated the mechanism of using fungal microfiber as a binder for lyocell nonwovens in this project. In this thesis project, FM bonded lyocell nonwoven webs showed a great potential on the application of nonwoven applications such as interior materials or filtration materials.
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