Photos by Amber Isabel
A Dutch company has unveiled what it believes to be the first commercial dyeing machine to replace water with supercritical carbon dioxide—a pressurized form of the gas with unusual liquid-like properties. Heated up to 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) and pressurized to 74 bar, CO2 takes on the characteristics of both a liquid and a gas, allowing for the dissolution of compounds such as dyes. For DyeCoo Textile System’s purposes, scCO2 is heated to 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit) and pressurized to 250 bar. Behaving as both a solvent and a solute, the supercharged carbon dioxide penetrates textile fibers and disperses the preloaded dyes without extra chemical agents.