‘SCHUTZEN Chemical Group’ developes technology for processing polymer from tamarind seed for use in textile printing and dyeing
12 June 2021: Mumbai based start-up SCHUTZEN Chemical Group has developed new technologies for processing polymer from tamarind seed that enables it´s use in textile printing and dyeing processes. This makes textiles products more sustainable, as the innovation of SCHUTZEN Chemical Group can replace some hazardous chemicals used in textile treatments. Beyond that, their sustainable products can be used as a natural alternative in skin and hair care products, as well as in the paint and coating industry. For these reasons, SCHUTZEN Chemical Group has been chosen as ISC3 Start-up of the month for June 2021.
SCHUTZEN Chemical Group started as an auto care family company in 2015. As climate change, sustainability, and the SDGs became serious topics around the world a few years ago, Raj Tanna, the founder of SCHUTZEN Chemical Group, recognized the importance of entrepreneurs moving towards sustainability. As a student in Textile Technology and Business Management at the University of Manchester, he was conducting research on the processing of a polymer obtained from the seed of tamarind for potential use as a natural thickener in textile printing process with fiber reactive dyes. Tamarind is a common fruit tree in India that does not need cropping, as opposed to e.g. guar beans, from which guar gum with similar applications in textile printing is extracted and the guar plant requires fertile land every year.
Tamarind seeds have a low value in the food industry, because only the fruits are used, and the seeds remain as waste product, making tamarind seeds a low-cost raw material for other industrial uses. “Tamarind polymer has been used in industry for nearly 60 years. We were also selling the “basic version,” which many companies in India have been selling for the last 20 years for polyester printing. So, it is not a new polymer. It is just underexplored and not well understood. We used our application and polymer production knowledge to understand how this polymer can be processed and used sustainably across industries and for new applications,” Raj explains.
After his university research, SCHUTZEN Chemical Group launched their own special reactive dyes that work with tamarind polymer, allowing for more sustainable printing on cellulosic fibers like cotton. From then on, Raj focused on sustainable chemicals, guided by his father Mahendra Tanna, who shared his 40 years of experience in entrepreneurship and the chemical industry, including 20 years in a position as managing director of a German multinational textile specialty chemical company in India.