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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

How nanotechnology can revive Nigeria’s textile industry

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Nigeria’s cotton manufacturing has fallen steeply lately. It as soon as supported the biggest textile trade in Africa. The autumn is because of weak demand for cotton and to poor yields ensuing from planting low-quality cottonseeds. For these causes, farmers switched from cotton to different crops.

Nigeria’s cotton output fell from 602,400 tonnes in 2010 to 51,000 tonnes in 2020. Within the Nineteen Seventies and early Eighties, the nation’s textile trade had 180 textile mills using over 450,000 individuals, supported by about 600,000 cotton farmers. By 2019, there have been 25 textile mills and 25,000 employees.

The trade competes in a world textile market that was valued at US$ 993.6 billion in 2021 and is predicted to develop at a price of 4.0% from 2022 to 2030. As soon as the continent’s chief, Nigeria spends on common US$4 billion a 12 months to import textiles that it might produce itself. Imports put strain on overseas change reserves, jobs and native demand for cotton.

Technical innovation might make the textile sector extra aggressive – not solely by bettering cotton manufacturing but in addition by bettering textile high quality. This may be achieved in Nigeria.

These days, textiles’ properties might be enormously improved by way of nanotechnology – the usage of extraordinarily small supplies with particular properties. Nanomaterials like graphene and silver nanoparticles make textiles stronger, sturdy, and immune to germs, radiation, water and hearth.

Including nanomaterials to textiles produces nanotextiles. These are sometimes “sensible” as a result of they reply to the exterior atmosphere in several methods when mixed with electronics. They can be utilized to reap and retailer power, to launch medicine, and as sensors in several purposes.

Nanotextiles are more and more utilized in defence and healthcare. For hospitals, they’re used to provide bandages, curtains, uniforms and bedsheets with the power to kill pathogens. The market worth of nanotextiles was US$5.1 billion in 2019 and will attain US$14.8 billion in 2024.

In the intervening time, Nigeria isn’t benefiting from nanotextiles’ financial potential because it produces none. With over 216 million individuals, the nation ought to be capable of assist its textile trade. It might additionally discover buying and selling alternatives within the African Continental Free Commerce Settlement to market modern nanotextiles.

Nanotextiles in Nigeria

Our nanotechnology analysis group has made the primary try to provide nanotextiles utilizing cotton and silk in Nigeria. We used silver and silver-titanium oxide nanoparticles produced by locust beans’ wastewater. Locust bean is a multipurpose tree legume present in Nigeria and another elements of Africa. The seeds, the fruit pulp and the leaves are used to arrange meals and drinks.

The seeds are used to provide an area condiment referred to as “iru” in southwest Nigeria. The processing of iru generates a big amount of wastewater that’s not helpful. We used the wastewater to scale back some compounds to provide silver and silver-titanium nanoparticles within the laboratory.

Materials have been dipped into nanoparticle options to make nanotextiles. Thereafter, the nanotextiles have been uncovered to recognized micro organism and fungi. The expansion of the organisms was monitored to find out the power of the nanotextiles to kill them.

The nanotextiles prevented progress of a number of pathogenic micro organism and black mould, making them helpful as antimicrobial supplies. They have been energetic in opposition to germs even after being washed 5 occasions with detergent. Textiles with out nanoparticles didn’t forestall the expansion of microorganisms.

These research confirmed that nanotextiles can kill dangerous microorganisms together with these which are immune to medicine. Supplies corresponding to air filters, sportswear, nostril masks, and healthcare materials produced from nanotextiles possess glorious antimicrobial attributes. Nanotextiles may promote wound therapeutic and supply resistance to radiation, water and hearth.

Our research established the worth that nanotechnology can add to textiles by way of hygiene and illness prevention. Utilizing nanotextiles will promote good well being and well-being for sustainable growth. They are going to help to scale back infections which are attributable to germs.

Regardless of these advantages, nanomaterials in textiles can have some negative effects on the atmosphere, well being and security. Some nanomaterials can hurt human well being inflicting irritation once they are available in contact with pores and skin or inhaled. Additionally, their launch to the atmosphere in giant portions can hurt decrease organisms and scale back progress of vegetation. We advocate that the impacts of nanotextiles ought to be evaluated case by case earlier than use.

Reviving Nigeria’s textile sector

Along with authorities’s efforts to revive Nigeria’s textile sector, alternatives in nanotechnology ought to be explored. Good nanotextiles that may compete favourably with overseas textiles may very well be produced domestically.

Agriculture can profit from nanopesticides, nanofungicides and nanofertilizers boosting crop yield. This has been utilized to cotton farming. Nanotechnology can be helpful to deal with effluents of the textile trade in an eco-friendly method.

Along with larger cotton manufacturing, nanotextile merchandise can return Nigeria’s textile trade to glory. This can be a distinctive manner to enhance Nigeria’s economic system by nanotechnology.

Learn extra:
Nanotechnology has a lot to supply Nigeria however analysis wants assist

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