Structural and physical
the yucca fiber
Meghdad Kamali Moghaddam and
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
Meghdad Kamali Moghaddam, Department of Textile Engineering, Faculty Engineering, University of Bonab,
5551761167 Bonab, Iran.
!The Author(s) 2020
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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)  or in non-textile ﬁber processing for pulp and paper , composites
(e.g., for automotive industry and construction) [4–6], geotextiles , insulation
products (e.g., construction material) [8,9], and the nonwoven manufacturing .
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 , sausage plant , Hierochloe Odarata , Juncus
effuses , Ficus religiosa , conium maculatum stem , and okra .
Jute ﬁber is one of the most important cellulose ﬁbers used in ropes, twines,
packaging and, especially, in Persian home textiles including carpet backing .
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 . 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
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 . 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 . Chemical extraction, microbial retting, water
retting, and mechanical scotching have been applied to the entire Yucca ﬁber .
The beating of leaves using a knife or a piece of wood may also be used to extract
ﬁbers . Chemical extraction may result in a ﬁber with a greenish color due to
the presence of chlorophyll .
Bell and King  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  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.  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 . The microbial retting (90 days in
de-ionized water and decomposition of leaves) and chemical extraction for obtaining
ﬁbers from Yucca aloifolia  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 . 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-
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 . 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].
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
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
The FTIR spectrum for the ﬁber extracted at 80C showed strong broadband at
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 . 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
, 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 . 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
to the lateral order index (LOI) . 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) , linden (0.96) , althea
(0.79), ferula ﬁbers (0.70) , and famous ﬁbers including jute (0.99), kenaf (0.93),
ramie (1.05) and sisal (0.970) .
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 . 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  and Yucca elephantine ﬁbers .
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) . 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)
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
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
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
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 .
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.  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) , 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 . The main diffraction peaks were
observed at 2h¼15.1and 16.12, which referred to the Miller index  and
, respectively; 2h¼35referred to the Miller index , and 2h¼22.22
could be attributed to the Miller index . According to the crystalline planes,
the Yucca ﬁber was assigned as cellulose I .
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 ﬁber 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.
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 
Areca fruit husk – 20.12 55.50 7.9 
Ferula communis 15.1- 16.8 22.20 48.00 1.6 
Linden 16.7 22.00 53.00 – 
Lygeum spartum L 17.87 22.01 46.19 – 
Furcraea foetida 15.00 22.63 52.60 28.4 
Coccinia grandis L. 16.00 22.00 57.64 8.15 
Tridax procumbens 16.02 22.34 40.85 38.2 
Leafiran (Typha) 16.40 22.30 60.0 – 
12 Journal of Industrial Textiles 0(0)
ﬁbers results from the degradation temperatures of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin
components. Yao et al.  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 . 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 . 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)
, Leaﬁran (57.4% at 304 C) , and Lygeum spartum ﬁbers (62.8% at
307–375 C) . 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-
•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 https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0510-1009
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