Effect of Steam Pressure on Chemical and Structural Properties of Kenaf Fibers during Steam Explosion Process

Xiao Zhang, Guangting Han, Wei Jiang, Yuanming Zhang, Xianbo Li, Minghua Li


The chemical and structural properties of kenaf fibers that were treated at different steam pressures during the steam explosion process were investigated. With increased steam pressure, a higher percentage of cellulose and acid-insoluble lignin and a lower content of hemicellulose and pectin were obtained. This result was further confirmed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies revealed that the steam-exploded kenaf fibers were more crystalline than the raw kenaf fibers, and that excessive steam pressure above 3 MPa damaged the cellulose crystalline structure. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis showed a change in the surface morphology of the treated kenaf fibers. The lower content of gums and the effective defibrillation of steam-exploded kenaf fibers demonstrated the potential of steam explosion treatment in applications of kenaf fibers.


Kenaf; Steam explosion; Chemical composition; Cellulose; Structural properties

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