Biodegradation of cotton fabric impregnated with TiO2 nanoparticles

Darka Marković, Jelena Vasiljević, Barbara Golja, Brigita Tomšič, Barbara Simončić, Maja Radetić


Commercial P25 TiO2 nanoparticles are widely exploited as an efficient photocatalyst. In the textile domain, these nanoparticles are used for the production of self-cleaning, highly UV protective textiles with an antimicrobial activity. The disposed textile products may end up in a landfill where they are subjected to the biodegradation process. Considering the importance of the later, this study discusses the biodegradation behavior of cotton fabric impregnated with commercial P25 TiO2 nanoparticles. Photo­cata­lytic activity of TiO2 nanoparticles immobilized on cotton fabric was proved by photodegradation of dyes C.I. Acid Orange 7 and methylene blue in aqueous solution. Biodegradation of fabrics was assessed by soil burial test in periods of 3, 9 and 18 days. Chemical and morphological changes induced by biodegra­da­tion were analyzed by FTIR, SEM and EDS, respectively. A color of the samp­les gradually changed from white to yellow/brown due to rotting. SEM analysis revealed a severe destruction of the control and impregnated cotton fibers after 18 days of soil burial which was in line with visual appearance of completely damaged fabrics. The results confirmed that biodegradation behavior of both the control and impregnated sample was equivalent indicating that P25 TiO2 nanoparticles did not inhibit the biodegradation process of cellulose.


cotton, TiO2 nanoparticles; biodegradation; dye photodegradation; UV protection

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