A Review of Bacterial Pigments: Harnessing Nature’s Colors for Functional Materials and Dyeing Processes

Micaela Gomes , Graca Soares

2023 / Volume 6 / Pages 167-190
Received 28 February 2023; Accepted 9 May 2023; Published 11 May 2023

The use of synthetic dyes has been found to have negative environmental impacts, leading to a growing demand for natural alternatives. This study explores the potential of bacterial pigments, derived from microorganisms, as a sustainable alternative for textile dyeing. The first chapter examines the ecological impact of synthetic dyes and the potential of natural dyes, including bacterial pigments, as a sustainable alternative. Biodegradability and life-cycle-assessment are discussed in this chapter since they are important factors to evaluate the environmental impact of any substance. The second chapter discusses the potential for bacterial pigments to functionalize textile materials with new therapeutic properties, including antifungal and anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, some bacterial pigments can be used as semiconductors for electronics. The third chapter outlines the challenges of using natural pigments in textile production and suggests techniques to improve colourfastness. The chapter also highlights the successful uses of pigments such as anthraquinone, carotenoid, violacein, melanin, and prodiginine in textile colouring. Finally, the future perspectives section identifies potential areas for further research and development in the field of bacterial pigments, which could revolutionize the textile industry towards a more eco-friendly and innovative approach to textile production.

sustainability, bacterial pigments, textile functionalization, dyeing