STUTTGART – In a bid to produce new types of textile coatings that can repel water, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany have tweaked a compound called chitosan derived from crab shells to make it hydrophobic.

It’s claimed that by functionalising this biopolymer, it can then be applied to textiles during finishing as an alternative to perfluorinated water repellent coatings; and potentially used as a substitute for synthetic polymers derived from fossil fuels in a wider range of textile finishing processes.

Chitosan is a product of chitin – a natural polysaccharide found in crab shells, marine crustaceans and even insects.

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