Archroma’s Ultraphor® KCB optical brightening agent finding use in water free CO₂ dyeing process

Archroma, a global leader in colour and specialty chemicals, today announced that Tong Siang Co. Ltd. has chosen to use Archroma’s Ultraphor® KCB optical brightening agent to colour its white, high-performance sportswear.

Thailand- based Tong Siang, a member of the Yeh Group, is making these products using what is considered by the industry as the world’s first water-free and process chemical-free dyeing solution. The technology in question is based on carbon dioxide instead of water, and was developed and patented by Dutch process engineering company DyeCoo Textile Systems B.V.

Textiles produced by Tong Siang, using this technology, are branded as DryDye® fabrics.

When pressurized, CO₂ becomes “supercritical” (SC-CO₂), a phase between a liquid and a gas. In this state, CO₂ has a very high solvent power, allowing the dye to dissolve and be transported easily and deeply into fibers, creating bright whites and vibrant colors. The CO₂ is reclaimed from existing industrial processes, recycling 95% of it in a closed-loop system. The technology uses 100% pure dyes with more than 98% uptake, and uses no process chemicals and no water, and produces no waste water.

With increased scrutiny by consumers and environmentalists alike, textile manufacturers are eagerly seeking new, sustainable dyeing techniques that do not harm the environment. Archroma’s range of optical brightening agents (OBAs) for polyester – the Ultraphor® series – is a perfect solution to meet this need.

Ultraphor® KCB is a high-quality concentrate manufactured at Archroma’s dedicated OBA plant in Germany, and is proven to be ideally suited for this water free, CO₂ dyeing technology.

Tong Siang has extensively tested Ultraphor® and is successfully using it in bulk production, with the resulting products meeting Tong Siang’s customers’ demanding needs related to colour, performance and environmental friendliness.

Ultraphor® KCB represents Archroma’s first entry into the CO₂ dyeing field, and the company is looking to introduce further coloration and finishing effects in the future.

“While humans have used water to dye fabrics for more than 2,000 years, today water is an increasingly scarce resource that needs to be conserved. DyeCoo’s CO₂ dyeing process offers an important step forward, and we at Archroma are pleased to be able to help advance broader use of this eco-friendlier approach,” comments Andrew McDonald, Global Head of Business Development, Synthetic & Wool, Archroma’s Brand & Performance Textile Specialties Business.

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Archroma is a global color and specialty chemicals company headquartered in Reinach near Basel, Switzerland. It operates with 3,000 employees over 35 countries and with 24 production sites. Its three businesses – Brand & Performance Textile Specialties, Packaging & Paper Specialties, and Coatings, Adhesives & Sealants – deliver specialized performance and colour solutions to meet customers’ needs in their local markets, touching and colouring people’s lives every day, everywhere.

Archroma is passionate about delivering leading and innovative solutions, enhancing people’s lives and respecting the planet. The company is committed to challenging the status quo in the deep belief that it can make its industry sustainable; an approach reflected in its innovations, world-class quality standards, high service levels and cost-efficiency. Products enhanced, colours enhanced, performance enhanced – “Life enhanced”.