Soybean-protein fiber developed in China

Soybean-protein fiber developed in China

WHAT’S NEW

Li Guanqi, President of the Huakang Bio-Chemical Engineering Group in Hunan Province, China has developed a soybean– protein fiber and named it “Tian Rong” (meaning “Heavenly Silk”). The Chinese fiber and textile industry is going to expand production and marketing of this newly developed original Chinese fiber as a national project.

This soybean-protein staple fiber is made from soybean residue that comes from the production of soybean oil. The globulin extracted from soybean residue is developed into this new type of regenerated protein fiber after rigorous processing.

Soybean-protein fiber has a shine like silk and a texture similar to cashmere. This unique fiber absorbs and releases moisture, and can provide both ventilation and warmth. Given these prominent characteristics, soybean protein fiber is suitable for manufacturing high-grade fabrics and garments.

It is also evaluated from the following three points against other synthetic fibers: it does not rely on petroleum resources, it is easy on nature and has a natural texture.

The Huakang Bio-Chemical Engineering Group is currently producing 1,500 tons of “Tian Rong” at its pilot plant with 1,500– ton annual production capacity. Several additional factories are in the planning process or under construction in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shandog provinces. By 2002, total annual production of soybean– protein fiber is expected to surpass 30,000 tons, and 80% of the fiber and its associated products will be exported due to its strong demand from overseas markets, while its domestic supply is expected to remain around 10,000 tons. It is stated that over 50 world-renowned companies are already showing great interest and the fiber is believed to have enormous economic potential.

Copyright Osaka Senken Ltd. Dec 2001

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