Common Reed (Phragmites australis), Eradicate or Utilize? Part II: Potential Use as an Industrial Fiber Source after Hot Water Extraction

William Michael Burry, Klaus Doelle, Shijie Liu, Raymond Appleby


The potential usefulness of an invasive common reed as biomass feed to a biorefinery was investigated. This investigation focused on the cellulosic fiber and a comparison of with and without a hot-water extraction (HWE) pretreatment process step. Handsheets were made before and after bleaching and compared to handsheets made from other pulped grass family (Poaceae) fibers. Machine-made simulated copy-grade paper was compared with and without HWE at varied percentages of reed replacement for hardwood fiber in the furnish. The HWE appeared to cause a dramatic increase in the tensile and burst strength while the tear strength reduced slightly. The effects of HWE on woody biomass strength properties were compared.


Phragmites australis; Invasive species; Renewable fuel; Biochemicals; Hot water extraction; Value prior to pulping; Soda pulping; Industrial fiber source; Elemental chlorine free bleaching; Machine-made paper

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126