Escherichia coli (E. coli) was used to activate hydrolysis reaction along with biodegradation in natural and synthetic fibers to identify possibilities as alternative substitutes for textile wastes using chemical solutions and enzymes. To confirm the reaction between the bacterial infections of E. coli and the excessively abundant interstitial spaces of the fibers, various types of natural and synthetic fibers such as cotton, wool, polyethylene terephalate (PET), polyadmide (PA), polyethylene (PE), and polypropylene (PP) were used to confirm the physico-chemical reactions. Tensile strength analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and contact angle analysis were used to determine the physico-chemical property changes of the fiber by the bacteria. When biofilm was formed on the fiber surface, various physical changes such as the following were observed: (i) in the analysis of tensile strength, all except PA and PP were decreased and a decrease in cotton fibers was noticeable (ii) depending on the type of fibers, the degree of roughness was different, but generally the surface became rough. In this study, the change of roughness was the most severe on the cotton fiber surface and the change of PET and PA fiber was relatively small. It was found that the intensity peak of oxygen was increased, except for the in cases of PA and PP, through the change of chemical properties by XPS analysis. Changes in topographical properties on the surface through contact angle analysis were stronger in hydrophilic properties, and in the case of cotton, completely hydrophilic surfaces were formed. Through this study, PA and PP fibers, which are Olefin fibers, were theoretically free of physicochemical and topographical changes since there were no functional groups that could trigger the hydrolysis reaction.
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