LOWELL -- UMass Lowell has received $490,000 from the Walmart Foundation to develop textile dyeing technology, as one of six colleges to receive funding announced this week.
Chemistry professor Yuyu Sun said the funding will allow research into development of new dyes using nanotechnology, or manipulation of the smallest particles, to reduce the environmental impact. The traditional dyeing process can be water- and energy-intensive, and environmental regulations have helped send some textile jobs overseas as a result, Sun said.
"It's really exciting," said Sun, a UMass Lowell professor for five years. "Hopefully it can make some contributions to make textile manufacturing viable in the U.S. again."
Researchers at UMass Lowell have demonstrated a potential for better dyeing technology, Sun said, "but it's very important for us to move this technology to the next phase."
Washington State, North Carolina State, Clemson, Oregon State and Texas Tech were the five other universities to receive textile technology funding from the company's U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund. With UMass Lowell, they received a combined $3 million.