Sustainable, insecticide-loaded cellulose fibers from ionic liquid
Doctoral candidate Sydney Brake from the Auburn University, USA, visited Aalto via FinnCERES GoGlobal Programme. She worked under the supervision of Professor Michael Hummel to investigate technologies towards bio-based functional yarns for long-lasting insecticide nets for mosquito control.
Malaria and other vector-borne diseases are fatal to susceptible communities around the world, but luckily, there have been technological developments in the field of insecticidal controlled-release materials to mitigate the effects of these illnesses. Unfortunately, though, they come at the cost of the environment because of their dependence on nonrenewable and nonbiodegradable sources. The Ioncell® process is a method of dissolving cellulose pulp to create a dope that can be spun into a regeneration bath to form strong fibers for sustainable textile applications. By including insecticides in this process, fibers were constructed that maintain the superior properties of regenerated cellulose materials while also containing important active ingredients even after washing. This research supported the possibility of commercial production of an environmentally friendly solution to deadly vector-borne diseases.