Textiles - Uses for Supercritical Fluids

Dye Textiles Without Water!


The conventional dyeing of textiles requires that an excess of dye is dissolved or in some way "taken-up" in an aqueous or solvent solution. The dye mix is then pumped into a vat containing holding the textile. Typically there is agitation or the dye is recirculated several times through the cloth. At the end of the cycle, the dye mix is pumped to the waste treatment facility. Dyes are notoriously difficult to treat. The process is decidedly unfriendly to the environment.


The use of supercritical CO2 in textile dyeing is an environmentally friendly, sustainable alternative. Instead of using an aqueous or solvent solution to "take-up" the dye, supercritical CO2 is used. The process proceeds in the same manner as the conventional method, but instead of sending the spent mix to the waste treatment facility, the supercritical CO2 /dye mix is depressurised. The CO2 changes to a gas and all the spent dye falls out and can be reused. In production systems the CO2 is recycled for providing for a completely closed systems and an entirely environmentally friendly approach to textile dyeing.


Our Process for dyeing polyester offers the following advantages versus conventional dyeing in water


  • CO2 replaces water as the dye solvent
  • Saves energy
  • Uses fewer and less chemicals
  • Generates practically no waste streams
  • Carbon dioxide is recycled and not vented
  • Reduces the number of process steps
  • Simplifies dyeing chemistry
  • Reduces plant footprint
  • Flexibility in site location

Additional technology to support your dyeing operations:


  • 60 - 90 minute dyeing cycle depending on colour
  • Selection of disperse dyes that work well in our process. Create a palette of colours with these dyes.
  • Colour database for your use
  • Use colour match capability
  • Dyed polyester meets AATCC tests



Applied Separations have a proven commitment to advancing Supercritical Fluids technology and have worked with companies all over the world to incorporate supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) into their processes. Thanks to their world class R&D team, in-house engineers, and visionary approach, Applied Separations work hard to develop and enhance applications of this green technology in many unexpected industries.


Have an application in mind? Please contact iBiosys Solutions and, together with Applied Separations, we will work with you to develop a supercritical fluid application fit for your needs.