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Structural and physical characteristics of the yucca fiber


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Yucca fiber is a natural cellulose fiber that can be extracted from the Yucca plant leaves by retting. The physical properties of the Yucca fiber are extremely sensitive to the retting conditions. This research was designed to study the effects of chemical retting on the structural and properties of this fiber. Chemical retting was done by soaking the Yucca leaf in 10 to 150 g/l sodium hydroxide concentration at 80 to 100 °C for 60 to 240 min. Fiber characteristics such as fineness, tenacity, functional groups, crystallinity, thermal degradation, and surface morphology were then investigated. The Yucca fibers exhibited high crystallinity (56–66%), high tenacity (36–46 cN/tex), and low linear density (3–5 tex). It was also found that the elementary fiber had a mean diameter of about 1.2 [Formula: see text] and a helical structure of square-shaped spires. The thermogravimetric analysis also indicated that the Yucca fiber had the thermal stability of up to 250 °C. Based on the findings, the Yucca fiber may be suitable for various applications such as a reinforcement material in the composites applications and can be turned to yarn for textile applications.
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Original Article
Structural and physical
characteristics of
the yucca fiber
Meghdad Kamali Moghaddam and
Ehsan Karimi
Yucc a fiber is a natural cellulose fiber that can be extracted from the Yucc a plant leaves by
retting. The physical properties of the Yucc a fiber are extremely sensitive to the retting
conditions. This research was designed to study the effects of chemical retting on the
structural and properties of this fiber. Chemical retting was done by soaking the Yuc c a leaf
in 10 to 150 g/l sodium hydroxide concentration at 80 to 100C for 60 to 240 min. Fiber
characteristics such as fineness, tenacity, functional groups, crystallinity, thermal degra-
dation, and surface morphology were then investigated. The Yucca fibers exhibited high
crystallinity (56–66%), high tenacity (36–46 cN/tex), and low linear density (3–5tex). It
was also found that the elementary fiber had a mean diameter of about 1.2lmanda
helical structure of square-shaped spires. The thermogravimetric analysis also indicated
that the Yucca fiber had the thermal stability of up to 250 C. Based on the findings, the
Yucc a fiber may be suitable for various applications such as a reinforcement material in the
composites applications and can be turned to yarn for textile applications.
Cellulosic fiber, chemical retting, leaf fiber, sodium hydroxide, thermal properties
In the last decades, natural cellulosic fibers have been attractive for researchers and
industries as they are renewable and biodegradable materials with such intrinsic
Department of Textile Engineering, Faculty Engineering, University of Bonab, Bonab, Iran
Corresponding author:
Meghdad Kamali Moghaddam, Department of Textile Engineering, Faculty Engineering, University of Bonab,
5551761167 Bonab, Iran.
0(0) 1–17
!The Author(s) 2020
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/1528083720960756
properties as good tensile strength, high moisture absorbance, low weight, low
cost, and the wicking property [1,2]. The extraction process of the natural fibers
can be done in textile fiber processing for textile manufacturing (e.g., yarns, twines,
and clothes) [1] or in non-textile fiber processing for pulp and paper [3], composites
(e.g., for automotive industry and construction) [4–6], geotextiles [7], insulation
products (e.g., construction material) [8,9], and the nonwoven manufacturing [10].
There are common natural cellulosic fibers for use in clothing and technical
textiles, such as fibers bundles in the inner bark of stems (e.g., flax, jute, hemp and
ramie), leaf fibers running lengthwise through the leaves of the monocotyledonous
plant (e.g., sisal and abaca), and seed fibers and fruits (e.g., cotton, coir, kapok and
milkweed) [11–13]. In addition to the traditional natural fibers, numerous non-
traditional plants are being studied to extract fibers from plants; these include
vekka, date, bamboo [14], sausage plant [15], Hierochloe Odarata [16], Juncus
effuses [17], Ficus religiosa [18], conium maculatum stem [5], and okra [19].
Jute fiber is one of the most important cellulose fibers used in ropes, twines,
packaging and, especially, in Persian home textiles including carpet backing [20].
In the last decades, jute fiber has been produced domestically; however, today
these fibers are imported from Far East countries such as India, Bangladesh,
Pakistan, etc. Iran imported about 93.7 thousand tons of jute, kenaf and allied
fibers in 2017 [21]. Due to the high consumption of plant fibers such as jute in the
country, finding a suitable source for fiber extraction can be important due to the
country’s vegetation.
Yucca is an evergreen plant belonging to the agave subfamily of the Asparagus
family; it is an ornamental garden plant that is widely cultivated in different cities
of Iran. Yucca fiber is one of the oldest cellulosic leaf fibers that has not been
widely studied by researchers. About 40 species of succulent plants belong to the
genus Yucca, all of which have fiber in their leaves [22]. The flat green leaves are 30
to 70 cm long and 2–4 cm wide. Yucca is an economically viable plant that can
produce about 60 to 80 leaves per year. The weight percentage of the extracted
fibers is dependent on the plant species and generally, less than 20% of fiber
extraction has been reported [22]. Chemical extraction, microbial retting, water
retting, and mechanical scotching have been applied to the entire Yucca fiber [23].
The beating of leaves using a knife or a piece of wood may also be used to extract
fibers [24]. Chemical extraction may result in a fiber with a greenish color due to
the presence of chlorophyll [22].
Bell and King [25] found that the fibrous bundles were distributed in the Yucca
leaves; they consisted of groups of xylem and phloem which were capped above
and below with fibers. McLaughlin and schunk [26] treated the fresh leaves of
Yucca in 5% potassium hydroxide at 60–65C for 40–48 hours and determined
the length, diameter, and cell wall thickness of the fibers. They extracted fiber
with a diameter of 13–18 mm and cell- wall thickness of 4.5–6.2 mm. Azanaw
et al. [23] also extracted fibers from Yucca Elephantine leaves using water retting
(26 days in the river water at room temperature) and chemical extraction (3–20%
of NaOH, boiling temperature, 2 h). Chemical-extracted fibers at 3% NaOH had
2Journal of Industrial Textiles 0(0)
better tensile properties (7.5 cN/tex) in comparison to water-retted ones (5.7 cN/tex);
the fineness was decreased from 5.96 to 4.2 tex with NaOH concentration. The
authors also found that the tensile properties of the Yucca fibers were the same as
the bast fibers, such as sisal and hemp fibers [23]. The microbial retting (90 days in
de-ionized water and decomposition of leaves) and chemical extraction for obtaining
fibers from Yucca aloifolia [27] were studied by Ekunsanmi and Tripathi. In chemical
extraction, they treated leaves with 11% sodium hydroxide at the boiling tempera-
ture for 45minutes; then, this was continued with 3% hydrogen peroxide for
10 minutes. They found that the chemically extracted fibers had lower tensile
strength in comparison to the microbial retted fibers. Bartlett also investigated
three Yucca species, including Y. angustissima, Y. baccata and Y. glauca, to study
the tensile properties of these fibers [28]. The Yucca fiber was extracted by processing
the leaves in an autoclave at 121C; then, it was submerged in water and finally,
gently scraped manually. The results showed that Y. baccata fibers were 32% and
45% stronger than Y. angustissima and Y. glauca, respectively.
Fiber extraction is a complex process and the process conditions can greatly
affect the properties of the fibers. In the previous studies on the extraction of fibers
from Yucca leaves, limited experiments have been performed on the chemical
extraction conditions, while the fiber properties are highly dependent on the extrac-
tion condition such as time, temperature, and chemical concentration. Also, a
comprehensive study of the fiber properties is important for a better application
of this fiber.
The objective of this study was, therefore, to extract cellulose fibers from Yucca
leaves through the chemical extraction and to investigate the effects of the sodium
hydroxide concentration (10–150 g/l), time (60–240 min), and temperature
(80–100C) of extraction on the physical properties of the fibers. The obtained
fiber was characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffrac-
tion (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, thermogravimetric
analysis (TGA), and tensile testing to characterize the surface, crystallinity, struc-
tural changes, thermal stability, and tenacity. Furthermore, some important
properties of the extracted fibers were measured and compared with the new
natural cellulose fibers.
Materials and methods
The Yucca plant used in the present study was obtained from a local plantation in
Bonab, East Azerbaijan province, Iran. The plant species used was Yucca filamen-
tosa (belonging to the Agave subfamily of the Asparagus family) (Figure 1).
The leaves were cleaned and cut into small pieces (about 100mm). Other reagents
used were sodium hydroxide flakes (NaOH, Dr. Mojallali, Iran), acetic acid
COOH, Ghatran Shimi Tajhiz, Iran), and potassium bromide (KBr, Sigma-
Aldrich, USA).
Moghaddam and Karimi 3
Fiber extraction. Fiber extraction from Yucca leave, which is the first step in fiber
processing, can be done mechanically or by retting [23,26]. The controllable leaf
fiber quality within a short time can be obtained by chemical retting [29]. In this
study, a laboratory-dyeing machine (Model LDM97, Novin Reessanj, Iran) was
used for the chemical extraction of the Yucca fiber. Eight experiments were simul-
taneously carried out in eight 150-ml stainless steel beakers, each containing 5 g
leaf and sodium hydroxide, as listed in Table 1. The sealed beakers were rotated in
a heating medium of glycerin at the temperature range of 80–100C. The extracted
fibers were removed from the beaker, washed in hot water, and neutralized using
2 g/l acetic acid. The fibers were then dried overnight at room temperature.
Tenacity. The tensile tests of the extracted fibers were performed using a tensile mea-
surement instrument (SANTAM 20, Iran) with a constant strain rate (CRE),
according to ASTM D3822-01. The fiber length was 20mm, and the crosshead
speed was 2mm/min. An average value on 30 tests was taken for each parameter.
Linear density. The linear density of the fibers (the amount of mass per unit length)
was determined according to ASTM D1577-96 by weighing the known lengths of
the fibers. The following formula was used to calculate the fiber linear density:
Linear density ¼W
Figure 1. The picture of the Yucca plant, a laboratory-dyeing machine used for chemical
extraction, and the fiber obtained after extraction.
Table 1. Chemical extraction of the Yucca fibers.
Time (min) Temp. (
C) Sodium Hydroxide Conc. (g/l) L: R
60 , 120, 240 80, 100, 120 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 75, 100, 150 30:1
4Journal of Industrial Textiles 0(0)
where Wis the weight of the fibers (g), Lis the length of the fibers (m), and lis the
unit of the length of the system. In the Tex system, the unit length is 1000 m.
FTIR spectroscopy. The chemical structure of the Yucca fiber was analyzed by the
Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy (Shimadzu, Japan). The fiber was
milled to powder, mixed with an analytical grade of potassium bromide (KBr), and
then pressed into a disk for measurement. The FTIR spectra were measured in the
transmittance mode in the range of 4000–400 cm
by using 32 scans.
Surface morphology. The longitudinal and cross-sectional views of the Yucca fiber
were determined by the scanning electron microscopy, FEI ESEM QUANTA 200
(Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, MA, USA). To obtain a sectional view, the
fiber was mounted on a conductive adhesive tape (Agar, United Kingdom) and
sputter-coated with gold-palladium (COXEM, South Korea) before being
observed under SEM. The images were captured with an accelerating voltage of
25 kV and magnifications of 100to 5000.
Crystallinity and crystalline size. The structure of the extracted Yucca fiber was charac-
terized by an X-ray diffractometer (PANalytical International Corporation, Almelo,
Netherlands). The XRD was performed at 40 kV and 40 mA using the Cu Karadia-
tion (k¼0:1542 nmÞ. Data were recorded from 5to 1002husing a step-scan mode
with a step size of 0.02 degrees. The fiber crystallinity (percentage) was calculated by
the following formula, as proposed by Hermans et al. according to equation (2) [30,31].
Crystallinity %
100 (2)
where A
is the area under the crystalline peaks and A
is the area of the amor-
phous peaks, respectively.
The crystallite size was calculated using the Scherrer’s equation (equation (3)),
where kis the wavelength of the radiation used (0.1542 nm), his the Bragg angle of
the diffraction peak, bis the half-width of the lattice plane (002) cellulose I in
radians, and Kis a constant usually considered as 0.9.
Thermal degradation. The thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was performed to find
the rate of change in the mass of the Yucca fiber as the temperature changed. The
analysis was performed under a nitrogen environment using a TA instrument
(TGA SDT Q600, USA). Initially, the masses of the fiber were precisely measured
at room temperature; then, the temperature of the samples was increased from
25 C to 500 C at a constant heating rate of 10 C.min
Moghaddam and Karimi 5
Results and discussion
FTIR spectroscopy
The Fourier transform infrared spectrum of the extracted Yucca fiber is depicted in
Figure 2. Two major regions were visible in the spectra. The first zone was the
wavenumber range from 4000 to 2700 cm
with a low peak number, and the
second one was the wavenumber range from 1700 to 600 cm
with a larger
peak number.
The FTIR spectrum for the fiber extracted at 80C showed strong broadband at
3433 cm
due to the stretching vibration of the hydrogen bond of the OH groups.
The intensity of this peak was increased for the fiber extracted at 100C due to the
more removal of lignin and an increase of the hydroxyl groups in hemicellulose and
cellulose [32]. The peak at 2887 cm
was assigned to the C-H stretching vibration of
CH and CH
. The signal intensities at the bands of 1460cm
1028 cm
, due to the symmetric C-H deformations, the aromatic skeletal vibration
and methoxyl groups in lignin, were reduced or disappeared due to the lignin deg-
radation and the cleavage of methoxyl groups by extraction at the higher temper-
atures [5,33,34]. Lignin is a hydrophobic layer in the natural fibers, causing some
Figure 2. The FTIR spectrum of the extracted Yucca fiber.
6Journal of Industrial Textiles 0(0)
poor interfacial bonding between natural fiber and hydrophilic resin in the polymer
composites [32]. The removal of lignin and the other non-cellulosic materials can
improve the interfacial bonding of the fibers with resins.
The amount of the crystalline cellulose, relative to the amorphous components,
can be obtained by the transmittance values of 1439 cm
and 894 cm
, referring
to the lateral order index (LOI) [35]. This is an empirical crystallinity index pro-
posed by Nelson and O’Connor (1964) to show the overall degree of order in the
cellulose. LOI of the Yucca fibers was calculated to be 2.64 and 2.43 for the fiber
extracted at 100 C and 80 C, respectively. This could indicate further removal of
non-cellulosic components and an increase of the cellulose content due to an
increase in the extraction temperature. The calculated LOI was greater than that
for new fibers including conium maculatum (1.01) [5], linden (0.96) [36], althea
(0.79), ferula fibers (0.70) [34], and famous fibers including jute (0.99), kenaf (0.93),
ramie (1.05) and sisal (0.970) [37].
Fineness and tenacity
The chemical retting parameters, such as alkaline solution concentration, time, and
temperature of the process, can affect the fineness and tenacity of fibers. In the
process, it was found that extracting fibers from the Yucca leave needed sufficient
conditions. The extraction process at sodium hydroxide concentrations lower than
75 g/l within 60 min did not result in fiber extraction, as shown in Table 2.
However, increasing the extraction time led to a decrease in the concentration of
sodium hydroxide, so that it was possible to extract the fiber at a concentration of
40 g/l for 240 minutes. This showed that the chemical extraction time could be an
important factor in the chemical retting of the natural fibers [38]. Increasing the
processing time led to the rise of the fiber tenacity, as shown in Figure 3(a). As can
be seen, increasing the hydroxide concentration within 60 and 120 minutes led to
the rise of the fiber tenacity, but the tenacity of fiber was decreased with increasing
the NaOH concentration over 240 minutes. This finding is supported by similar
studies, such as those on Acacia tortilis fibers [4] and Yucca elephantine fibers [23].
As suggested in Table 2, the extraction of fibers using an alkaline solution of 75 g/l
at 80 C within 240 min resulted in good tenacity and fineness.
Extracting fibers from the Yucca leaves at 100 C, in comparison with that at
80 C, could result in fiber extraction at a lower alkaline concentration (Table 3).
Figure 3(b) reveals that unlike the fiber extraction at 80 C, an increase in the
processing time had a negative effect on the tenacity of the fibers obtained at
100 C. Therefore, chemical retting within 120 min resulted in fiber extraction
with higher tenacity in comparison to that within 240 min. On the other hand,
the tenacity of the fiber extracted at 100 C was much higher when compared to
that of the fiber obtained at 80 C. Generally, chemical retting at high temperatures
could remove the non-cellulosic and impurities on the fiber surface and increase
fiber crystallinity and tenacity. This could be due to the high alkali penetration in
the amorphous region of the cellulose structure. The decrease in tenacity at high
Moghaddam and Karimi 7
alkali concentration levels could be attributed to the partial degradation of lignin
and hemicellulose in the crystalline structure of cellulose that stuck cellulose chains
together. These findings have been supported by similar studies on other natural
fibers [39–41]. Therefore, fibers obtained from chemical retting containing 30 g/
l sodium hydroxide solution within 120 min had the highest tenacity and suitable
fineness, as illustrated in Figure 3(b).
The tensile strength of the Yucca fiber was obtained to be 350–480 MPa,
which was better than that of Coir (108–252 MPa), coconut fiber (95-230 MPa),
bamboo (140–230), and banana (355 MPa) fibers; also, it was closer to Sisal fiber
(227–627 MPa) [42]. This showed that the Yucca fiber could be used as a reinforce-
ment material in the polymer composites.
Figure 3. The effect of sodium hydroxide concentration and time on the tenacity of the
extracted fibers (a) at 80 C and (b) at 100 C.
8Journal of Industrial Textiles 0(0)
Surface morphology
The scanning electron microscopy images of the extracted Yucca fiber are shown in
Figure 4. It can be seen that the Yucca fiber was composed of elementary
fiber joined and covered by waxy, and gum materials such as lignin, pectin, etc.
(Figure 4(a)). The mean diameter of the elementary fiber and the composite of the
Yucca fiber was 12 lm and 65 lm, respectively (Figure 4(b)). The mean diameter of
the composite fiber depends on the amount of gum removed through a chemical
Table 2. Tenacity and linear density of the extracted Yucca fibers at 80 C
60 min 120 min 240 min
Tenacity (cN/tex) Linear
Tenacity (cN/tex) Linear
Tenacity (cN/tex)
Mean S.D Mean S.D Mean S.D
10 * * * * * * * * *
20 * * * * * * * * *
30 * * * * * * * * *
40 * * * * * * 4.1 35.36
50 * * * 5.6 32.77
5.71 5.2 38.89
75 4.3 28.35
5.13 5.3 30.33
9.28 4.2 37.19
100 6.8 23.07
5.81 6.1 30.15
6.69 5.1 32.00
150 6.0 28.75
3.42 4.8 34.06
3.41 5.2 28.22
* The fibers are not extracted
Means with the same superscript are not statistically different (P <0.05)
Table 3. Tenacity and linear density of the extracted Yucca fibers at 100 C
60 min 120 min 240 min
Tenacity (cN/tex) Linear
Tenacity (cN/tex) Linear
Tenacity (cN/tex)
Mean S.D Mean S.D Mean S.D
10 * * * * * * * * *
20 * * * 6.00 36.67
7.97 4.00 33.75
30 3.67 41.34
4.76 4.10 46.39
7.41 3.60 34.65
40 3.33 39.73
3.51 3.75 40.00
8.87 3.61 26.97
50 4.75 44.21
4.39 4.67 31.41
6.67 3.67 32.58
75 5.14 34.56
2.57 4.50 31.27
5.99 4.67 28.84
100 4.85 25.05
2.63 6.11 30.00
5.00 5.60 25.48
150 7.00 28.39
1.28 6.67 28.18
3.62 4.67 26.42
* The fibers are not extracted
Means with the same superscript are not statistically different (P <0.05)
Moghaddam and Karimi 9
extraction process. Alkaline solution degrades the non-cellulosic content (lignin,
hemicellulose) that is connected to the adjacent fiber cells, releasing the individual
fibers [12].
Figure 4(c) shows that the mean diameter of the elementary fiber could be lower
than 10 lm due to chemical extraction at a higher temperature (100 C, 2 h). The
magnified image (5000) (Figure 4(d)) showed that the elementary fiber had a
mean diameter of about 1:20:2lm. The non-cellulosic fiber pectin and hemi-
celluloses were removed by boiling it in the alkaline solution and the fiber fineness
was improved [29].
The cross-section of the Yucca fiber is shown in Figure 5. Figure 5(a) shows that
the elementary fiber had a helical structure of square-shaped spires covered with a
gummy material. This helical structure was also shown by Msahli et al. [43] in
the case of Agave American L. elementary fibers. It seemed that the Yucca fiber
had an irregular cross-sectional shape without any certain lumens (Figure 5(b)).
These results were consistent with the study by Bell et al. (1944) [25], proposing
Figure 4. Scanning electron microscope images of the extracted Yucca fiber at (a & b) 80 C for
4 h, and (c & d) 100 C for 2 h.
10 Journal of Industrial Textiles 0(0)
that individual fibers were tapered regularly to the rounded end and the lumen was
usually very distinct.
Crystallinity and crystal size
The X-ray diffraction pattern of an extracted Yucca fiber is presented in Figure 6.
The main amorphous and crystalline peaks, crystallinity percentage and crystallite
size are given in Table 4. Three less defined peaks around 15,16
and 35, and a
Figure 5. A cross-section SEM image of the Yucca fiber.
Figure 6. X-ray diffraction pattern of the Yucca fiber.
Moghaddam and Karimi 11
strong peak around 22characterized the XRD pattern of the Yucca fiber, indi-
cating the semi-crystalline nature of this fiber [37]. The main diffraction peaks were
observed at 2h¼15.1and 16.12, which referred to the Miller index [110] and
[110], respectively; 2h¼35referred to the Miller index [004], and 2h¼22.22
could be attributed to the Miller index [200]. According to the crystalline planes,
the Yucca fiber was assigned as cellulose I [49].
Cellulose crystallinity percentage is one of the significant crystalline structure
parameters. Increasing crystallization results in an increase in fiber rigidity and a
decrease in its flexibility. The data gathered from a comparison between the
extracted fibers at different conditions showed that the fibers obtained at higher
temperatures had a higher crystallinity percentage (about 66%). This might be due
to the decrease in non-cellulosic materials such as hemicellulose and lignin, which
are amorphous structures, and the increase at cellulose content, which is a crys-
talline structure [41,50]. This result was confirmed by SEM images.
Table 4 shows the crystallite properties of the natural cellulosic fibers that have
been recently obtained from the stem, leaf, etc. for the textile and composite appli-
cations. Similar to cotton (60–68%), jute (57–70), ramie (58–74%), and coir fibers
(48–57%) [36,48], the Yucca ber had higher crystallinity (about 66%), in compar-
ison to the new natural cellulose fibers. The high crystallinity may have led to the
high tenacity and enhancement of the mechanical properties of the corresponding
composites. The lower crystal size increased the chemical reactivity and water sorp-
tion of the natural fiber, which could lead to the better dyeing of these fibers.
Thermal analysis
The study of thermal stability and the investigation of the maximum weight loss rate
of components is possible by using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and derivative
thermogravimetric analysis (DTGA), respectively. The thermal stability of the natural
Table 4. Crystallinity and crystal size of Yucca in comparison to other new natural cellulose
size (nm) Ref.
Yucca fiber, 4h, 80
C 15.84 22.36 55.92 3.12 In this study
Yucca fiber, 2h, 100
C 16.12 22.06 66.47 2.96 In this study
Conium maculatum 15.21–16.52 22.39 55.70 8.0 [5]
Areca fruit husk 20.12 55.50 7.9 [42]
Ferula communis 15.1- 16.8 22.20 48.00 1.6 [34]
Linden 16.7 22.00 53.00 [36]
Lygeum spartum L 17.87 22.01 46.19 [44]
Furcraea foetida 15.00 22.63 52.60 28.4 [45]
Coccinia grandis L. 16.00 22.00 57.64 8.15 [46]
Tridax procumbens 16.02 22.34 40.85 38.2 [47]
Leafiran (Typha) 16.40 22.30 60.0 [48]
12 Journal of Industrial Textiles 0(0)
fibers results from the degradation temperatures of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin
components. Yao et al. [51] found that an onset decomposition temperature of
numerous natural fibers was in a range of 215 10C (with about 5% weight loss)
and the maximum decomposition temperature was about 290 10C(withabout
45% weight loss). The thermal property of the fibers was studied in a temperature
range between 25 C to 500 C and at a heating rate of 10 C/min. The TGA and
DTGA profiles of the Yucca fibers are shown in Figure 7. The low water content of
the Yucca fibers evaporated at 50 C to 100 C, causing weight loss in less than 4%.
All-natural cellulosic fibers had this weight loss due to the presence of the moisture
content [37]. The DTGA analysis of the Yucca fiber did not show a peak in the range
of 200–250 C, which could indicate that the optimal fiber extraction conditions in this
study had removed the hemicellulose component from the fiber structure [52]. The
DTGA analysis of the extracted fibers at 80 Cand100
C showed the peaks at
322.12 C and 317.61 C, respectively, which were caused by the thermal decomposi-
tion of a-cellulose. The corresponding weight loss was 66.30% and 56.70%, respec-
tively, for the thermal decomposition. The weight loss of the Yucca fiber due to the
decomposition of a-cellulose was closer to that of okra fibers (60.6% at 310–390 C)
[53], Leafiran (57.4% at 304 C) [54], and Lygeum spartum fibers (62.8% at
307–375 C) [44]. As the conclusion, according to TGA, the Yucca fiber was stable
up to 250 C; therefore, it satisfies the thermal stability as a natural cellulosic material
Chemical retting was successfully carried out for the extraction of natural cellulose
fibers from the Yucca leaves. Determination of tenacity, thermal stability,
Figure 7. Thermal gravimetric analysis curves of the extracted Yucca fibers.
Moghaddam and Karimi 13
crystallinity, and microscopic observation showed the effect of chemical retting on
the properties of the extracted fibers. Upon extraction at high temperature, the
crystallinity and tenacity of the extracted fibers were increased. The chemical
extraction of the Yucca fibers showed that:
The tenacity of the extracted fibers was in a range of 36–46 cN/tex, which was
closer to that of the sisal fiber.
The XRD-analysis showed that the crystallinity of the fibers was about 66%,
which was closer to that of cotton, ramie, and coir fibers.
The scanning electron microscopy analysis revealed that the extracted elemen-
tary fiber had a mean diameter of about 1.2 mm and a helical structure of square-
shaped spires.
The thermogravimetric analysis also showed that the fibers started to decom-
pose above 250C.
The combined results, therefore, showed that the Yucca fiber, as natural cellu-
lose fiber, had the desired characteristics for use in textiles and as the potential
reinforcement in thermoplastic polymeric composite applications.
Declaration of conflicting interests
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, author-
ship, and/or publication of this article.
The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication
of this article.
Meghdad Kamali Moghaddam
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Moghaddam and Karimi 17
... The crystal size of the BPF was 5.22 nm. This smaller crystal size made the BPF more chemically reactive and water-soluble, which might improve the dyeing of these fibres (18) . (14) Yucca fibre 22.36 55.92 3.12 (18) Fig 3. X-ray diffraction plot of the BPF bonded hydroxyl (OH) group of cellulose and absorbed water, was said to be the cause of the peak at 3429 cm -1 . ...
... This smaller crystal size made the BPF more chemically reactive and water-soluble, which might improve the dyeing of these fibres (18) . (14) Yucca fibre 22.36 55.92 3.12 (18) Fig 3. X-ray diffraction plot of the BPF bonded hydroxyl (OH) group of cellulose and absorbed water, was said to be the cause of the peak at 3429 cm -1 . The C-H symmetric and asymmetric stretching were said to be responsible for the peaks at 2924 cm -1 . ...
... The C = C aromatic ring and C-H vibration of lignin were associated with the peak at 1640 cm -1 , whereas the C-H deformation of cellulose and lignin was associated with the peak at 1384 cm -1 . In addition, a peak at 1034 cm -1 shows the existence of the C-H rocking vibration in cellulose (18) . Figure 5 (b) shows the fractured specimen samples after single-fibre tensile testing. ...
... Globally, various new fibres have been extracted and utilised as reinforcement in polymer composites. In recent years, Kenaf bast, Coconut fibre, Zmioculus zamiifolia fibre, Girardinia bullosa Wedd fibre, Grewia optiva fibre, T. australis fibre, Saccharum spontaneum fibre, Yucca fibre, and Urtica dioica L. fibre have been chemically extracted, characterised, and reported from diverse regions of the world (Amel et al. 2013;Basu et al. 2015;Tengsuthiwat et al. 2022;Kale et al. 2020;Rana et al. 2021;Mortazavi and Moghadam 2009;Devnani and Sinha 2019;Moghaddam and Karimi 2022;Bacci et al. 2011). ...
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Due to environmental concerns and the high expense of conventional fibres, there is an immediate need to investigate alternative eco-friendly fibres. Through chemical retting, eco-friendly MW fibre was extracted for the first time and characterized to evaluate its potential replacement against hazardous synthetic fibre. The effect of chemical concentration and retting duration on the fibre extraction has been thoroughly examined. MW fibre's utilization as a biocomposite reinforcement was investigated using physicochemical, XRD, FTIR, SEM, and thermal analysis. The density, tensile strength, Young's modulus, strain at failure, and micro-fibril angle of the MW fibres extracted using 90 h retting with 0.961 M NaOH concentration with an average diameter of 186.7 μm were 1370–1460 kg/m3\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$\mathrm{kg}/{\mathrm{m}}^{3}$$\end{document}, 143.46 MPa, 5.38 GPa, 7%, and 24.408°, respectively. The existence of cellulose (O=H), hemicellulose (C=O), lignin (C=C), and wax (C≡C) in the fibre was detected by FTIR analysis. According to the XRD data, the CI and CS are 54% and 3.00 nm. Thermal studies show that the fibre extracted using 90 h of alkaline retting has the highest activation energy of 130 kJ/mol and thermal stability up to 350 °C among other retting. The fibre's high cellulose content (76 wt%) and roughness (17.43 μm) contributed to its specific strength and adherence to the polymer matrix. The importance of the current work indicates that this fibre has important applications in pulping, packaging, composites, and the production of cellulose nanocomposites.
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During the last decades, the possibility of using species resistant to droughts and extreme temperatures has been analyzed for use in the production of lignocellulosic materials and biofuels. Succulent species are considered to identify their potential use; however, little is known about Asparagaceae species. Therefore, this work aimed to characterize chemically-anatomically the stems of Asparagaceae species. Stems of 10 representative species of Asparagaceae were collected, and samples were divided into two. One part was processed to analyze the chemical composition, and the second to perform anatomical observations. The percentage of extractives and lignocellulose were quantified, and crystalline cellulose and syringyl/guaiacyl lignin were quantified by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Anatomy was observed with epifluorescence microscopy. The results show that there were significant differences between the various species (p < 0.05) in the percentages of extractives and lignocellulosic compounds. In addition, there were anatomical differences in fluorescence emission that correlated with the composition of the vascular tissue. Finally, through the characterization of cellulose fibers together with the proportion of syringyl and guaiacyl, it was obtained that various species of the Asparagaceae family have the potential for use in the production of lignocellulosic materials and the production of biofuels.
Yucca treculeana L. (YT) is increasingly being considered by researchers worldwide as a replacement option for synthetic fibers such as glass fibers. The objective of this study is to determine the tensile quasi-static room temperature mechanical parameters of YT fibers with gauge lengths (GL) of 10, 20, 30, and 40 mm. A comprehensive tensile test program was conducted on 120 fibers grouped in four series to determine the influence of their variability on the tensile strength, ultimate strain at break and elastic Young’s modulus of the YT fibers. The values of the tensile mechanical properties of YT fibers exhibit a large dispersion of results, which is a characteristic of natural fibers, therefore requiring statistical study. For the purpose of studying this dispersion, some statistical tools such as two- and three-parameter Weibull distribution at 95% CI confidence level and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used.
The present study addressed the isolation of cellulose microfibers (CMF) from Yucca leaves using chemical treatments. This study was conducted in three stages, namely, two stages of alkaline treatments (NaOH 3%), and a single stage of bleaching treatment (H2O2 6%). The resulting microfibers were characterized using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), X-Ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infra-red (FTIR), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). Alkaline and oxidative bleaching treatments had a positive impact on defibrillation and morphology of the fibers by the partial removal of non-cellulosic materials. FTIR results also revealed that most of the amorphous components were removed through proper alkali and bleaching treatments from the fibers. Further, SEM analysis showed that cellulose microfibers with an average diameter of 7 µm were successfully isolated with a yield of about 25%. The crystallinity index (76%) and crystallite size (3.41 nm) of CMF were also determined through the XRD analysis. The method used in this study led to the isolation of the microfibers with the thermal stability of 215°C and activation energy of 67.72 kJ/mol. The values obtained in this study were reasonably promising for the use of Yucca cellulose microfibers in various applications, such as reinforced-polymer manufacturing.
La micropropagation des variétés à feuillage panaché (plusieurs couleurs sur une même feuille) peut générer des plantes non conformes au phénotype d’origine, particulièrement dans le cadre de plantes monocotylédones acaules. Or, par leur caractère fortement ornemental, ces variétés présentent un fort potentiel commercial. L’objectif était de déterminer les potentialités de micropropagation des monocotylédones panachées dans un contexte industriel et commercial, de définir la stabilité de leurs phénotypes, et de comprendre l’apparition des plantes hors-type. Les observations de coupes foliaires au microscope confocal à balayage laser sur les quatre cultivars étudiés Yucca gloriosa‘Variegata’ (YgVAR), Yucca flaccida ‘Golden Sword’ (YflGS), Phormium tenax ‘Jessie’ (PtJE) et Cordyline australis ‘Pink Passion’ (CaPP) ont révélé que tous les cultivars étaient des chimères périclines, soit une panachure liée à un méristème stratifié avec plusieurs génotypes différents.En micropropagation, YgVAR a présenté des taux de conformité élevés, PtJE des taux modérés et CaPP de faibles taux. Des analyses istologiques sur les vitroplants ont mis en évidence des différences majeures dans le développement et le comportement de multiplication in vitro de ces trois espèces de l’ordre des Asparagales : YgVAR n'a développé que des méristèmes axillaires (AxM), PtJE principalement des AxM et quelques méristèmes adventifs (AdM), et CaPP à la fois des AxM et des AdM. Alors que les méristèmes axillaires préformés maintiennent la structure chimérique, les méristèmes adventifs la maintiennent peu. Donc la stabilité de la panachure de ces variétés dépend de leur propension à se propager par méristèmes adventifs. Des essais pour abaisser la dominance apicale et stimuler les méristèmes axillaires ont été menés, ainsi qu’une analyse du transcriptome des différents tissus panachés chez YflGS. Des protocoles de production industrielle adaptés à chaque cultivar sont finalement proposés.
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The use of Essential Oils as antimicrobial agents have become popular over the years in an attempt to find alternative ways of dealing with strains of bacteria that have become resistant to conventional antibiotics. This study was carried out to compare the antimicrobial effects of Citrus peel essential oils obtained from Okene Main Market, 7'33'4.39'' N 6'14'9.20'' E, Kogi State, Nigeria, on the clinical isolates of some microorganisms (Escherichia coli, Pseudesomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Aspergillus niger). The oils were extracted from the peels using the cold maceration method with n-hexane as the solvent. The agar diffusion method was used to test the susceptibility of the micro-organism strains using ciprofloxacin as the standard positive control. The experiment was carried out in duplicates and obtained data was analysed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Duncan Multiple Range Test (DMRT), with P<0.05 considered significant. The results revealed that Orange (Citrus sinensis) exhibited the inhibitoriest effect on the test isolates followed by lime (Citus aurantifolia) and Lemon (Citrus Limon) with the least significant effect.
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In this research, fibers were extracted from different parts of the okra plant (Abelmoschus esculentus) via water- and dew-retting methods. The fibers were subjected to physical and thermal analyses. The fibers obtained from the upper part of the okra plant showed higher breaking strength and lower linear density. Fibers obtained via water-retting exhibited higher breaking strength, higher elongation at break rates, and lower linear density values. The paper also presents the results of thermogravimetric analysis of the okra fibers. Tests were carried out in oxygen and inert gas atmospheres. Slight differences were found in the thermal resistance of the tested fibers, which was confirmed by an analysis using the αs-αr methodology. The calculated activation energy showed a widespread range of values.
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Thermal modification of wood causes chemical changes that significantly affect the physical, mechanical and biological properties of wood; thus, it is essential to investigate these changes for better utilization of products. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and size exclusion chromatography were used for evaluation of chemical changes at thermal treatment of oak wood. Thermal modification was applied according to Thermowood process at the temperatures of 160, 180 and 210 • C, respectively. The results showed that hemicelluloses are less thermally stable than cellulose. Chains of polysaccharides split to shorter ones leading to a decrease of the degree of polymerization and an increase of polydispersity. At the highest temperature of the treatment (210 • C), also crosslinking reactions take place. At lower temperatures degradation reactions of lignin predominate, higher temperatures cause mainly condensation reactions and a molecular weight increase. Chemical changes in main components of thermally modified wood mainly affect its mechanical properties, which should be considered into account especially when designing various timber constructions.
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Juncus effusus (JE) is a natural cellulose fiber with unique three-dimensional network structure and interconnected channels. However, to the best of knowledge, no efforts have been dedicated to the influence of alkali treatment on the morphologies and properties of the JE fibers, which can contribute to the removal of dyes from wastewater. Herein, the natural cellulose JE fibers were subjected to alkali treatment various concentrations of NaOH. The mechanical, chemical, thermal, wetting, and surface morphological properties of alkali-treated JE fibers were examined using a variety of experimental techniques, confirming that the chemical and mechanical properties of the JE fibers were enhanced after alkali treatment. Fibers treated with 4% w/v NaOH exhibited a maximum tensile strength of 200.63 ± 36.38 kPa and elongation at break of 12.10% ± 2.69%. During alkali treatment, amorphous material such as hemicellulose was partial removed and the crystallinity index of the alkali-treated JE fibers was enhanced. The treated fibers exhibited a rough morphology owing to the removal of hemicelluloses. Future studies will mainly focus on the applicability of alkali-treated JE fibers for the removal of dyes from wastewater. Graphic abstract Open image in new window
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The study was undertaken to investigate the usability of Hierochloe Odarata fibers as a novel reinforcement for polymeric composites. The fibers were extracted from Hierochloe Odarata plant, which is cultivated in Uzunalan, Çanakkale which is in the western part of Turkey. The cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin contents of Hierochloe Odarata fibers were obtained as 70.4, 21.5, and 8.1%, respectively. The oxygen/carbon ratio of 0.48 may indicate the hydrophilic surface structure of Hierochloe Odarata fibers. The crystallinity index of these Hierochloe Odarata fibers was determined as 63.8% according to the Segal formula. Hierochloe Odarata has 105.7 MPa maximum tensile strength, 2.56 GPa Young’s modulus and 2.4% maximum breaking elongation. The maximum degradation temperature and the char yield of the fibers were obtained as 352 °C and 12.5%, respectively. After physical and chemical properties were characterized in the study, it was concluded that Hierochloe Odarata fibers can be an alternative sustainable material for polymer-based composites as potential reinforcement. Graphic abstract Open image in new window
Kigelia africana also known as sausage plant, yields highly fibrous fruit with a hard shell. Many medicinal uses are reported for the extracts from the fruits, seeds and leaves of sausage trees. In this research, natural cellulose fibers were extracted from the fruit using NaOH and later bleached and characterized for their properties. Results revealed that significant amount of hemicellulose and lignin was lost after the alkali treatment and bleaching leading to a highly cellulosic fiber (up to 71 %). Morphologically, surface of the fibers varied from rough to smooth depending on the extent of treatment. The thermal stability, crystallinity and hydrophobicity increased after the treatment. Sausage fibers also possessed anti-microbial activity against common gram negative and gram positive bacteria. Overall, sausage fibers have properties similar to that of cotton and better than fibers obtained from many unconventional sources. With improved hydrophobicity and anti-bacterial properties, sausage fibers could be potentially applied in functional polymer composites.
Eco-friendliness and availability of green fiber reinforced based composites attracted many as a potential replacement for non-biodegradable synthetic fiber. Green composites are biodegradable and less susceptible to health hazards during the utilization for engineering application. Furthermore, natural fibers tend for application of light weight engineering products and provide satisfactory mechanical properties that pose challenges on massive application of green fibers as reinforcement in composite structures. The main objective of this paper is to extract and characterize Acacia tortilis as natural fiber for green composite. ASTM standard for sample preparation and experimental testing of fiber bundles were used. After successful extraction of the fiber, chemical composition, density and tensile test of mechanical property were performed as well as effect of chemical treatment was studied for bundles of fiber and a promising result were obtained. Validation with published results indicates that acacia tortilis fiber can be considered as a potential natural fiber for the application as a green composite.
Physical, chemical, thermal and crystalline properties of new natural fiber extracted from the root of Ficus Religiosa tree(FRRF) are reported in this study. The chemical analysis and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis results ensured the presence of higher quantity of cellulose content (55.58 wt%) in the FRRF. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy analysis is transported away to support the chemical groups present in the considered fibre. Thermal stability (325 °C), maximum degradation temperature (400 °C) and kinetic activation energy (68.02 kJ/mol.) of the FRRF areestablished by the thermo gravimetric analysis. The diameter (25.62 μm) and density (1246 kg/m3) of the FRRF have been found by the physical analysis. Scanning electron microscope analysis (SEM) and Atomic force microscope analysis (AFM) outcomes revealed that FRRF has the relatively smoothest surface. Altogether the above outcomes proved that novel FRRF is the desirable reinforcement to fabricate the fiber reinforced composite materials.