Bioresource Technology, Vol.99, No.15, 7152-7159, 2008
The effects of hemicelluloses and lignin removal on water uptake behavior of hemp fibers
This study investigated the individual influences of hemicelluloses and lignin removal on the water uptake behavior of hemp fibers. Hemp fibers with different content of either hemicelluloses or lignin were obtained by chemical treatment with 17.5% sodium hydroxide or 0.7% sodium chlorite. Various tests (capillary rise method, moisture sorption, water retention power) were applied to evaluate the change in water uptake of modified hemp fibers. The obtained results show that when the content of either hemicelluloses or lignin is reduced progressively by chemical treatment, the capillary properties of hemp fibers are improved, i.e. capillary rise height of modified fibers is increased up to 2.7 times in relation to unmodified fibers. Furthermore, hemicelluloses removal increases the moisture sorption and decreases the water retention values of hemp fibers, while lignin removal decreases the moisture sorption and increases the water retention ability of hemp fibers. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.