According to scientists from the Catholic University of Leuven, the nanoparticles of a fungus could give rise to new environmentally friendly dyes.
Researchers from the EU-funded SOPHIED research project have found that a fungus from the Solomon Islands produces special enzymes that act as nanobiocatalysts. These components help to start a chemical reaction between two different basic ingredients and turn it into a dye.
For the production of traditional dye, concentrated acids and other chemicals are used. Due to the highly explosive process, chemicals must be cooled during production. That requires a lot of energy. Additionally, chemicals pollute the water and can cause allergies.
The new green process works without all these negative effects. Early tests show that colors only start to fade in sunlight, while resisting washing and mechanical abrasion. The researchers are now working on a new method to make them resistant to light.