Applications for Biodegradable Textile Fibers

Sponsor:

Kaneka Corporation

Team Members:

Matthew Iezzi

Griffin Prufer

Madison Lanier

Steven Cedeno

Project Statement:

Kaneka Corporation, a large Japan based producer of synthetic fibers, is developing a biodegradable fiber intended for use in both aerobic and anaerobic environments. This fiber, tentatively identified as PHBH (a copolymer comprised of 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxyhexanoate), is an aliphatic polyester biopolymer.  Kaneka Corporation is a committed advocate for both the remediation and preservation of the environment and feels that the PHBH fiber may make a significant contribution to the betterment of our world.   The objective of this project is to investigate the range of potential applications for PHBH fiber in both aerobic (soil: e.g., agricultural) and anaerobic (seawater: e.g., fishery) environments. We would also like to use the information obtained to formulate an initial market strategy, ideally working with downstream partners to develop functional prototypes using the PHBH fiber.