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Issue 14, 2016
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A recycled foam coloring approach based on the reversible photo-isomerization of an azobenzene cationic surfactant

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Abstract

Development of a non-polluting process for cotton coloring is essential for the textile industry in view of ecological and economical reasons. In order to recycle the residual foam in the foam technique, a photo-responsive azobenzene cationic surfactant (4-butoxy-4′-(trimethylaminoethoxy)azobenzene, BTAEAzo) was synthesized for obtaining switchable foam based on its sensitive and reversible photo-isomerization capability. Transcis isomerization of BTAEAzo occurred only within 1 s UV light irradiation and cistrans conversion could be achieved after 8 min visible light irradiation. Besides, BTAEAzo showed good thermal stability which was stable up to 225 °C. BTAEAzo was able to reversibly switch foam between the stable (t1/2 of 19.09 min) and unstable (t1/2 of 2.93 min) states by light stimulation. Furthermore, dye-bonded blocked waterborne polyurethane, a polymeric dye, was applied in the switchable system and showed no influence on the foam switching capability of BTAEAzo. The coated cotton presented superior color properties including the K/S value, color evenness and fastness with the switchable foam. Most importantly, the residual color foam can be re-used during the coating process with excellent color repeatability. These results demonstrated that the recycled foam coloring process containing only two types of chemicals is a rapid and nearly zero-pollution process, fostering a clean and green textile industry.

Graphical abstract: A recycled foam coloring approach based on the reversible photo-isomerization of an azobenzene cationic surfactant

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
11 Mar 2016
Accepted
28 May 2016
First published
30 May 2016

Green Chem., 2016,18, 3972-3980
Article type
Paper

A recycled foam coloring approach based on the reversible photo-isomerization of an azobenzene cationic surfactant

S. Chen, W. Zhang, C. Wang and S. Sun, Green Chem., 2016, 18, 3972
DOI: 10.1039/C6GC00711B

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