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Revolutionizing Textile Safety: Harnessing the Power of Recombinant Hydrophobic Proteins for Fire Retardancy
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  • Katie Gilmour,
  • Thora Arnardottir,
  • Paul James,
  • Jane Scott,
  • Yunhong Jiang,
  • Martyn Dade-Robertson,
  • Meng Zhang
Katie Gilmour
Northumbria University
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Thora Arnardottir
Newcastle University
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Paul James
Northumbria University
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Jane Scott
Newcastle University
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Yunhong Jiang
Northumbria University
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Martyn Dade-Robertson
Newcastle University
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Meng Zhang
Northumbria University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

Fire retardancy for textiles is important to prevent the rapid spread of fire and minimize damage to property and harm to human life. To infer fire-resistance on textile materials such as cotton or nylon, chemical coatings are often used. These chemicals are usually toxic and economically and environmentally unsustainable, however, some naturally produced protein-based fire retardants could be an alternative. A biofilm protein from Bacillus subtilis (BslA) was identified and recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli with a double cellulose binding domain. It was then applied to a range of natural and synthetic fabric materials. A flame retardancy test found that use of BslA reduced fire damage by up to 51% and would pass fire retardancy testing according to British standards. It is therefore a viable and sustainable alternative to current industrial fire-retardant coatings.