Development of Eco-Friendly Method for Degumming of Eri Cocoons

Sreenivasa, Naveen Vijay Padaki

2023 / Volume 6 / Pages 742-759
Received 1 September 2023; Accepted 14 November 2023; Published 22 November 2023

In this study, a new eco-friendly degumming technique was developed for Eri cocoons without any chemicals. A newly developed eco-Eri degumming process was tried at 110 °C, 120 °C, 130 °C and 140 °C temperatures for 10, 20 and 30 min with soft and hard water. The novel eco-friendly degumming method was compared with the existing method of degumming viz. Soap-soda along with the enzymatic method. After degumming, weight loss per cent, changes in the fibre surface morphology concerning SEM imaging and fibre properties concerning tensile strength and elongation were studied. The eco-Eri degumming method at 130 °C for 30 min using soft water removed the maximum sericin content (degumming loss 15.7%) from Eri cocoon shells and had optimum degumming efficiency. In the eco-Eri degumming method, the degummed Eri cocoons were uniformly softened. The soap soda method of degumming resulted in 14.5% weight loss whereas enzymatic degumming resulted in a maximum of 13% weight loss (12% dosage). Enzymatic degumming significantly reduced the tensile strength but no results found in the tensile properties of Eri silk fibres were observed in new eco-friendly and soap-soda methods. SEM images indicated optimal fibre surface with the smoother surface until 130 °C, but fibre damage and fibrillation occurred at 140 °C and also with the Soap-soda method. An optimal condition for degumming Eri cocoons with the new eco-Eri degumming process is 130 °C for 30 min using soft water. The eco-Eri degumming method is better compared to other methods used presently in the industry.

degumming, Eri cocoons enzyme, chemical-free device, soap-soda, Eri silk