Stick It: Impact of Vitamin C Levels on Bacterial Dye Color
Yoyo Ding
Crofton House
Floor Location : S 047 R

Bacterial dye is more environmentally friendly and less carcinogenic than the chemical Azo dye that is widely used in the textile industry nowadays. However, bacterial dye still has limited practical applications since it lacks lightfastness and is prone to discolour when exposed to light. The purpose of my experiment is to increase the lightfastness of bacterial pigment by adding Vitamin C, which is an aromatic hydrocarbon capable of absorbing high UV energy and transforming it to low heat energy without the occurrence of photo degradation.

I used methanol extraction and centrifugation to isolate bacterial dye from Serratia Marcescens, which is known for its strong red pigmentation. I’m currently analyzing how different levels of Vitamin C impact the intensity and lightfastness of this bacterial dye. Cotton cloth is dyed with the extracted pigment, along with measured amount of dissolved Vitamin C, through the immersion method. The initial darkness of the cloth is recorded by an analysis of its photo taken in the light box. The pigmented cloth is then exposed to intense UV radiation in an enclosed environment, followed by a final colour analysis of the cloth. The initial and final colour analyses are compared, and cross comparison between samples yield the effect of Vitamin C on lightfastness of bacterial pigment. Ongoing tests are done to provide more data for the statistical analysis and more observations for conclusion.