Hydrogen peroxide is undoubtedly the most versatile bleaching agent available to the textile industry. It offers many advantages namely:
§ Ease of application
§ Potential for reducing process times
§ Minimization of effluent problems
§ Preservation of the quality of pure and blended textile fibers
§ A high and extremely stable degree of whiteness
Textile Animal Fibers
Wool and silk are bleached easily with hydrogen peroxide. After scouring, wool may be bleached by immersion or ad and dry techniques, using alkaline or acid solutions.
Prior to bleaching, silk is usually degummed. Hydrogen peroxide addition assists this process and it is universally used as the bleaching agent for natural silk, usually in an alkaline solution.
Textile Artificial Fibers or Regenerated Cellulose
Rayon and spun rayon produced from regenerated cellulose do not contain as many impurities as natural cellulosic fibers and therefore bleaching with hydrogen peroxide can be carried out under milder conditions.
Certain textile dyes may be "fixed" by hydrogen peroxide. The use of hydrogen peroxide directly, or in the form of its derivatives sodium perborate and sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate, facilitates the oxidation of vat and some sulphur dyes after their application to textiles.
Bleaching of 100% synthetic fibers is not normally required however blends of synthetic with natural fibers are often bleached using hydrogen peroxide. When used alone, synthetic fibers do not normally require bleaching. However, blends of synthetic fibers with natural or regenerated fibers, e.g. cotton -polyester are frequently bleached. The most popular bleaching agent is hydrogen peroxide and it is used in both batch and continuous processes.