Application and expansion of knowledge gained in the project Rainbow1 for the production of new, functionalised fibres using renewable resources as well as other fibre manufacturing methods in a pilot plant scale production.

Short Description




Leading Austrian textile industries are strongly oriented on the principles of sustainability and aim for the development of new, multiple-purpose fibres (RAINBOW FIBRES) based on cellulose, utilising renewable resources in industrial scale manufacturing.

Production and refinement of these new, functional fibres follow the principles of sustainability in economic, environmental and social aspects. The advantage of a simultaneous dyeing process of these functional cellulose-fibres together with other textile fibres leads to a significant reduction in the consumption of energy, water and chemicals (e.g. dyes, salts), resulting in an increase of productivity concerning textile refinement. This gain of efficiency is an important economic benefit for the whole branch of industrial textile finishing, especially in countries like Austria, facing high costs of work and resources. In addition, fabrication of these novel cellulose-based fibres will enable a multiple utilisation of beech wood as a renewable resource (refinery of wood). Combined with environmentally compatible production processes a significant reduction of pollutants will be achieved.

Furthermore it should be clearly outlined that these new developments lay the foundation for a long-term safeguarding of jobs and production facilities in the Austrian textile industry. Thus, the Rainbow-fibre favourably combines economic (up to 100% increase of productivity in the dyeing process) and ecologic (significant reduction of wastewater, energy consumption and chemicals) advantages.

Preceding project phases brought results concerning the applicability of these novel, functional cellulose fibres ("Rainbow") as well as a first basic characterisation of the new fibre material itself. In the present research project, the gained basic knowledge should be extended and transferred into a pilot plant scale production. Additionally, a study regarding closed loop manufacture in textile finishing will be made. Thereby the specific needs for sustainable process management of the project partners and of the textile industry as a whole attract special attention.

The realisation of this research project will afford a novel generation of textile fibres, which will allow a 40 to 100% reduction of wastewater, energy consumption and chemicals in the production and finishing processes. Based on these developments, an environmentally compatible production, together with an enhancement of the economic situation lies within reach. The fundamental feasibility of such a development was already demonstrated in the preceding project, basic research for the realisation of a pilot plant scale production is the subject matter of the actual project. Research and development of an industrial scale production will be subject to a further proposal.

Project Partners

Project management

Univ. Prof. Dr. Volker Ribitsch

Project or cooperation partner

  • Dr. Josef Schmidtbauer
  • Dr. Kurt Heinisch
  • Herr Panrock
  • Mag. Christian Pfeiffer
    VOSSEN Frottierwaren

Contact Address

Univ. Prof. Dr. Volker RIBITSCH
Tel.: +43 / (0)316 / 876 -1225
E-Mail: Volker.Ribitsch@joanneum.at