Bamboo? How & Why of Processing
There's a lot of misleading info regarding the processing of Bamboo... most cottons use the same chemicals in the process however bamboo's water consumption is significantly less!! (Plus naturally pesticide-free!)
But so you know... The two main chemicals used in the process are sodium hydroxide and carbon disufide.
With adequate ventilation, carbon disufide is not a problem and it breaks down when in contact with the natural elements. Neither carbon nor sulfur are poisonous elements.
Sodium hydroxide is also known as caustic soda, and it is true that it is strongly alkaline and will react with many substances. However, it is not toxic at all and is used extensively in cooking (eg. pretzels > Used in quite high concentrations it is what gives traditional pretzels their distinctive flavour)
Feel free to dig deeper 🙂
But keep in mind there's often a vested interest in smearing bamboo fibre
We have produced a video to give you a fair idea of how bamboo fibre, or bamboo rayon is made.
The demonstration shows not exactly how it is made commercially, because that takes much more time, but the principles are much the same.
- Isolating the cellulose from bamboo
- Dissolving the cellulose
- Regenerating the cellulose to form rayon (or viscose, which is another term for the same thing).
We have named the video “Kitchen Chemistry” because the substances involved are almost as tame as those used in everyday kitchens and households.