Heteromolecular pigmentations of plant-derived catechol and their application on textiles

Yintung Lam, Suju Fan, Youngjoo Chae, Lanheung Wong, Liang He, Bin Fei, John H. Xin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Inspired by the strong adhesion feature of DOPA discovered in mussel adhesive proteins, the heteromolecular pigmentations using naturally derived catechol and amino acids were developed for sustainable textile coloration. A diverse range of colour could be generated via biomimicking pigmentation with different combinations of catechol and amino acids at room temperature. The pigmentation could be finely tuned to form various attractive coating on textile materials. The findings showed that a gram of material could be dyed with milligrams of reactants, and the heteromolecular pigmentations could endow fabrics a wider colour gamut ranging from brown to blue. The catechol-amino acid pigments demonstrated good fastness properties, low toxicity, and highly reproducible colours on textile substrates. This catechol-based pigmentation could also be realized in a more environmentally friendly with cold pad-batch method, which further minimized both water and energy consumption. The results of the study open a novel sustainable direction for coloration of textile materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130010
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2022


  • Amino acids
  • Caffeic acid
  • Catechol
  • Green chemistry
  • Sustainable coloration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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