, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 2849–2860 | Cite as

Facile synthesis of a novel, highly effective, more sustainable and cost-effective cationic bleach activator for cotton: N-[4-(N,N,N)-triethylammoniumchloride-butyryl] caprolactam

  • Pelin Altay
  • Peter J. Hauser
  • Nevin Cigdem Gursoy
  • Ahmed El-ShafeiEmail author
Original Research


Compared to conventional peroxide bleaching, using a bleach activator in a peroxide bleaching bath is an effective and kinetically more potent oxidation generating highly reactive peracid in situ, providing low-temperature bleaching with shorter dwelling time. In the presence of an activator, bleaching can be achieved at lower temperatures and reduced time relative to the conventional peroxide bleaching, resulting in decrease in energy consumption and reduced fabric damage. Cationic bleach activators were investigated as the next generation bleach activators that exhibit inherent substantivity towards cellulosic fibers. In this study, facile synthesis of a more sustainable and cost-effective bleach activator, based on an aliphatic acyl chloride (4-chlorobutyryl chloride), was reported: Compared to aromatic-based bleach activator, it showed comparable bleaching results at lower temperature. Fourier transform infrared and high resolution mass spectrometry confirmed the molecular structure of the named activator: N-[4-(N,N,N)-triethylammoniumchloride-butyryl] caprolactam, TBUCC. Bleaching performance of TBUCC was evaluated in terms of whiteness index, water absorbency and fiber damage and compared with conventional peroxide system. Results revealed that our developed TBUCC-activated bleaching system provided comparable whiteness index, water absorbency with a higher degree of polymerization at significantly lower temperature (70 °C) as compared to conventional peroxide bleaching.

Graphical abstract


Peracetic acid Low temperature bleaching Hydrogen peroxide N-[4-(N,N,N)-triethylammoniumchloride-butyryl] caprolactam TBUCC 



This study is supported by TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) for 2214/A – International Doctoral Research Fellowship Program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Textile Engineering Department, Faculty of Textile Technologies and DesignIstanbul Technical UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Fiber and Polymer Science, College of TextilesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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