Sustainable Biopolymers in Textiles: An Overview

  • T. KarthikEmail author
  • R. Rathinamoorthy
Reference work entry


Biopolymers are polymers synthesized by living organisms. Biopolymers can be poly-nucleotides such as the nucleic acids DNA and RNA, polypeptides, or polysaccharides. These consist of long chains made of repeating, covalently bonded units, such as nucleotides, amino acids, or monosaccharides. Biopolymers can be sustainable, carbon neutral, and are always renewable, because they are made from plant materials which can be grown indefinitely. Therefore, the use of biopolymers would create a sustainable industry. This chapter details the four different biopolymers which are likely from the natural resources and also from the synthetic pathways. The first method discussed is agro products which are obtained by the different natural biomass like polysaccharide, plant and animal protein with their properties and application areas. The second type of biodegradable fiber conferred is fibers extracted from microorganisms. The other kind of materials spotlighted is synthesis method both from the biologically derived bio-monomers and also by the routine synthetic monomers. All the fibers were detailed for their special properties and potential application areas in our day-to-day life.


Sustainability Luxury Biopolymer Spider silk Hagfish slime Seaweed Milk fiber PLA PTT 


  1. 1.
    Brundtland GH, Khalid M (1987) Our common future, report of the world commission on environment and development. Oxford University Press, UKGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gardetti MA, Torres AL (2013a) Sustainability in fashion and textiles: values, design, production and consumption. Greenleaf, UKGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gardetti MA, Torres AL (2013b) Entrepreneurship, innovation and luxury: the any savoirs des peuple case. J Corp Citizen 52:55–75Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (2008) Sustainable clothing roadmap briefing note 2008. 2007. Accessed 14 Aug 2016
  5. 5.
    Prakash C, Maruthavanan T, Parvathi C (2009) Environmental impacts of textile industries. Indian Text J 23:22–26Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gopalakrishnan D, Karthik T (2012) Eco-friendly fibres – Textile contribution to minimize global warming. Tex Rev 7(9):13–15Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Karthik T, Gopalakrishnan D (2014) Environmental analysis of textile vaue chain – an overview. In: Kannan SS (ed) Roadmap to sustainable textiles and clothing. Springer, Singapore, pp 153–188Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Karthik T, Gopalakrishnan D (2012a) Impact of textiles in environmental issues and environmental legislation, Part – I. Tex Rev 7(3):14–21Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Karthik T, Gopalakrishnan D (2012b) Impact of textiles in environmental issues and environmental legislation, Part – II. Tex Rev 7(4):16–21Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Karthik T, Gopalakrishnan D (2012c) Impact of textiles on environmental issues, Part – I. Asian Dyer 9:52–58Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Averous L, Pollet E (eds) (2012) Environmental silicate nano-biocomposites (Green energy and technology). Springer, London. Scholar
  12. 12.
    Karthik T, Gopalakrishnan D (2013) Impact of textiles on environmental issues, Part – II. Asian Dyer 9:45–51Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Anastas P, Warner J (2000) Green chemistry: theory and practice. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mulhaupt R (2013) Green polymer chemistry and bio-based plastics: dreams and reality. Macromol Chem Phys 214:159–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Slater S, Glassner D, Vink E, Gerngross T (2002) Evaluating the environmental impact of biopolymers. In: Steinbuchel A (ed) Biopolymers. Wiley, Weinheim, pp 473–480Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Babu RP, O’Connor K, Sreeram R (2013) Current progress on bio-based polymers and their future trends. Progr Biomater 2(8):1–16Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mohanty AK, Misra M, Drzal LT (2002) Sustainable bio-composites from renewable resources: opportunities and challenges in the green materials world. J Polym Environ 10(1/2):19–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Vroman I, Tighzert L (2009) Biodegradable polymers. Materials 2(2):307–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Aeschelmann F, Carus M (2015) Bio-based building blocks and polymers in the world-capacities, production and applications: status quo and trends towards 2020. Nova-Institut GmbH, Hürth, pp 1–500Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kaplan DL, Mayer JM, Ball D, McCassie J, Allen AL, Stenhouse P (1993) Fundamentals of biodegradable polymers. In: Ching C, Kaplan DL, Thomas EL (eds) Biodegradable polymers and packaging. Technomic, Lancaster, pp 1–42Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Karlsson S, Albertsson A (1998) Biodegradable polymers and environmental interaction. Polym Eng Sci 38(8):1251–1253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Shen L, Haufe J, Patel M (2009) Pro-BIP product overview and market projection of emerging bio-based plastics, Report commissioned by European polysaccharide network and excellence (EPNOE) at European bioplasticsGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mensitieri G, Di Maio E, Buonocore GG, Nedi I, Oliviero M, Sansone L, Iannace S (2011) Processing and shelf life issues of selected food packaging materials and structures from renewable resources. Trends Food Sci Technol 22:72–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Li BZ, Wang LJ, Li D, Bhandari B, Li SJ, Lan Y, Chen XD, Mao ZH (2009) Fabrication of starch-based microparticles by an emulsification-crosslinking method. J Food Eng 92:250–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Majzoobi M, Radi M, Farahnaky A, Jamalian J, Tongdang T (2009) Physico-chemical properties of phosphoryl chloride cross-linked wheat starch. Iran Polym J 18(6):491–499Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Omojola MO, Manu N, Thomas SA (2012) Effect of cross linking on the physicochemical properties of cola starch. Afr J Food Sci 6(4):91–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Bomou M, Aiwen Q, Xiang L, Xinzhen Z, Chunju H (2014) Structure and properties of chitin whisker reinforced chitosan membranes. Int J Biol Macromol 64:341–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Yangchao L, Qin W (2014) Recent development of chitosan-based polyelectrolyte complexes with natural polysaccharides for drug delivery. Int J Biol Macromol 64:353–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Weili H, Shiyan C, Jingxuan Y, Zhe L, Huaping W (2014) Functionalized bacterial cellulose derivatives and nanocomposites. Carbohydr Polym 101:1043–1060CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Xiaoyun Q, Shuwen H (2013) “Smart” materials based on cellulose: a review of the preparations, properties, and applications. Mater 6:738–781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ganesh S, Samala MMR, Balaraman M, Jonnalagadda RR (2014) Method of addition of acetonitrile influences the structure and stability of collagen. Process Biochem 49:210–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hardy JG, Romer LM, Schiebel TR (2008) Polymeric materials based on silk proteins. Polymer 49:4309–4327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Heim M, Keerl D, Schiebel T (2009) Spider silk from soluble protein to extraordinary fiber. Angew Chem Int Ed 48:3584–3596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Singha K, Maity S, Singha M (2012) Spinning and applications of spider silk. Front Sci 2(5):92–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Kang S (2014), Biomimetics: engineering spider silk. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, XV (III)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Xia XX, Qian ZG, Ki CS, Park YH, Kaplan DL, Lee SY (2010) Native-sized recombinant spider silk protein produced in metabolically engineered Escherichia coli results in strong fiber. PNAS 107(32):14059–14063CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Gole RS, Kumar P (2012) Spider silk: investigation of spinning process, web material and its properties, biological sciences and bioengineering, IIT Kanpur, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    McKittrick J, Chen PY, Boddie SG, Yang W, Novitskaya EE, Meyers MA (2012) The structure, functions and mechanical properties of keratin. JOM 64(4):449–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Fudge DS, Gardner KH et al (2003) The mechanical properties of hydrated intermediate filaments: insights from hagfish slime threads. Biophys J 85(3):2015–2027CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Ferry JD (1941) A fibrous protein from the slime of the hagfish. J Biol Chem 138:263–268Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Fudge DS, Levy N, Chiu S, Gosline JM (2005) Composition, morphology and mechanics of hagfish slime. J Exp Biol 208:4613–4625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Negishi A, Armstrong CL, Kreplak L, Rheinstadter MC, Lim LT, Gillis TE, Fudge DS (2012) The production of fibers and films from solubilized hagfish slime thread proteins. Biomacromolecules 13(11):3475–3482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Fudge DS, Hillis S, Levy N, Gosline JM (2010) Hagfish slime threads as biomimetic model for high performance protein fibers. Bioinspir Biomim 5:035002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Chavan RB, Patra AK (2004) Development and processing of lyocell. Ind J Fiber Text Res 29:483–492Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Hipler UC, Wiegand C (2011) Biofunctional textiles based on cellulose and their approaches for therapy and prevention of atopic eczema. In: Bartels V (ed) Handbook of medical textiles. Elsevier, Boston, pp 280–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Jackowski T, Czekalski J, Cyniak D (2004) Blended yarns with a content of biological active fibers. Fibers Text East Eur 12(1):19–23Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Zikeli S (2006) Production process of a new cellulosic fiber with antimicrobial properties. In: Hipler UC, Elsner P (eds) Bio-functional textiles and skin. Curr Probl Dermatol. Basel, 33: 110–126Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Brooks MM (2009) Regenerated protein fibers: a preliminary review. In: Eichhorn S, JWS H, Jaffe M, Kikutani T (eds) Handbook of textile fiber structure: natural, regenerated, inorganic and specialist fibers. Elsevier, London, pp 234–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Kiron MI (2013) Manufacturing process of ilk fibers.
  50. 50.
    Saluja M (2010) An introduction to milk fiber- a review.
  51. 51.
    Vynias D (2011.) Soybean fibre: a novel fibre in the textile industry. Accessed 21 Apr 2017
  52. 52.
    Janarthanan M (2013) Soya protein fibre for textile applications. Ind Text J 123(4):23–25Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Saluja M (2013) Soybean fibers – a review, Accessed 12 May 2017
  54. 54.
    Volova T (2004) Polyhydroxyalkanoates plastic material of the 21st century: production, properties, applications. Nova, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Castro C, Zuluaga R, Álvarez C, Putaux JL, Caro G, Rojas OJ, Mondragon I, Gañán P (2012) Bacterial cellulose produced by a new acid-resistant strain of Gluconacetobacter genus. Carbohydr Polym 89(4):1033–1037CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Avinc O, Khoddami A (2009) Overview of poly(lactic acid) fibers. Fiber Chem 41(6):391–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Farrington DW, Davies JL, Blackburn RS (2005) Poly(lactic acid) fibers. In: Blackburn RS (ed) Biodegradable and sustainable fibers. Woodhead, Cambridge, pp 191–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Hongu T, Philips GO, Takigami M (2005) New millennium fibers, the textile institute. Woodhead, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Gruber P, O’Brien M (2005) Polylactides “Natureworks® PLA”. Biopolymers 6(8):235–239Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Gupta B, Revagade N, Hilbron J (2007) Poly(lactic acid) fiber: an overview. Prog Polym Sci 32(4):455–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Vink ETH, Rabago KR, Glassner DA, Springs B, O’Connor KJ, Gruber PR (2004) The sustainability of natureworks™polylactide polymers and ingeo™polylactide fibers : an update of the future. Macromol Bios 4:551–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Houck MM, Menold II RE, Huff RA (2001) Poly(trimethylene terephthalate: a new type of polyester fiber. Problem Forensic Sci XLVI:217–221Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Kurian JV (2005) A new polymer platform for the future- sorona® from corn derived 1,3 propanediol. J Polym Environ 13(2):159–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Wolf O, Patel M, Weidemann FM, Schleich J, Husing B, Angerer G (2005), Techno-economic feasibility of large scale production of bio-based polymers in Europe, European CommissionGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Amass W, Amass A, Tighe B (1998) A review of biodegradable polymers: uses, current developments in the synthesis and characterization of biodegradable polyesters, blends of biodegradable polymers and recent advances in biodegradation studies. Polym Int 47(2):89–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Sousa F, Vilela C, Fonseca AC, Matos M, Freire CSR, Gruter CJM, Coelho JFJ, Silvestre AJD (2015) Bio-based polyesters and other polymers from 2,5furandicarboxylic acid: a tribute to furan excellency. Polym Chem 6:5961–5983CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Okada M (2002) Chemical syntheses of biodegradable polymers. Prog Polym Sci 27:87–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Lockwood LB, Nelson GE (1946) Some factors affecting the production of itaconic acid by Aspergillus terreus in agitated cultures. Arch Biochem 10:365–374Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Mondala AH (2015) Direct fungal fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass into itaconic, fumaric, and malic acids: current and future prospects. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 42:487–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Willke T, Vorlop KD (2001) Biotechnological production of itaconic acid. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 56:289–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Draths KM, Frost JW (1994) Environmentally compatible synthesis of adipic acid from D-glucose. J Am Chem Soc 116:399–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Niu W, Draths KM, Frost JW (2002) Benzene-free synthesis of adipic acid. Biotechnol Prog 18:201–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Goldberg I, Rokem JS, Pines O (2006) Organic acids: old metabolites, new themes. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 81:1601–1611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Xu Q, Li S, Huang H, Wen J (2012) Key technologies for the industrial production of fumaric acid by fermentation. Biotechnol Adv 30:1685–1696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    van Gelder AH, Rozelin A, Alves MM, Stams AJM (2012) 1,3-Propanediol production from glycerol by a newly isolated trichococcus strain. Microb Biotechnol 5(4):573–578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Lee SY, Hong SH, Lee S, Park SJ (2004) Fermentative production of chemicals that can be used for polymer synthesis. Macromol Biosci 4:157–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Kang Z, Gao CJ, Wang Q, Liu HM, Qi QS (2010) A novel strategy for succinate and polyhydroxybutyrate co-production in Escherichia coli. Bioresour Technol 101(19):7675–7678CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Steiger MG, Blumhoff ML, Mattanovich D, Sauer M (2013) Biochemistry of microbial itaconic acid production. Front Microbiol 4:23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    Xie G, West TP (2009) Citric acid production by Aspergillus niger ATCC 9142 from a treated ethanol fermentation co-product using solid-state fermentation. Lett Appl Microbiol 48:639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Kotnis MA, O’Brien GS, Willett JL (1995) Processing and mechanical properties of biodegradable poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-valerate)-starch compositions. J Environ Polym Degr 3(2):97–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    Elisabeta Elena T, Maria R, Ovidiu P (2014) Biopolymers based on renewable resources - a review. Sci Bull Ser F Biotechnol XVIII:188–195Google Scholar
  82. 82.
    Wu J, Eduard P, Jasinska-Walc J, Rozanski A, Noordover BJA, Van Es DS, Koning CE (2013) Fully isohexide-based polyesters: synthesis, characterization, and structure-properties relations. Macromolecules 46:384–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    Alla LA, de Ilarduya AM, Benito E, Garcia-Martin MG, Galbis JA, Munoz-Guerra S (2011) Carbohydrate-based polyesters made from bicyclic acetalized galactaric acid. Biomacromolecules 12:2642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. 84.
    John R, Nampoothiri KM, Pandey A (2007) Fermentative production of lactic acid from biomass: an overview on process developments and future perspectives. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 74:524–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. 85.
    Albertsson AC, Varma IK (2002) Aliphatic polyesters: synthesis, properties and applications. Adv Polym Sci 157:1–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Cameron DJA, Shaver MP (2011) Aliphatic polyester polymer stars: synthesis, properties and applications in biomedicine and nanotechnology. Chem Soc Rev 40:1761–1776CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. 87.
    Yi-you L (2004) The soybean protein fibre – a healthy & comfortable fibre for the 21st century. Fibres Text East Europe 12(2):8–9Google Scholar
  88. 88.
    Karthik T, Vijayaraghavan NN (2004) Multi-component fiber technology for medical and other filtration applications. Synthetic Fibres 33(1):5–8Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Textile TechnologyPSG College of TechnologyCoimbatoreIndia
  2. 2.Department of Fashion TechnologyPSG College of TechnologyCoimbatoreIndia

Personalised recommendations