Optimization of Process Conditions for Microwave-assisted Flax Water Retting by Response Surface Methodology and Evaluation of its Fiber Properties

Dan Zhao, Hairui Ji, Renpeng Du, Qi Wang, Wenxiang Ping, Jingping Ge


Microwave-assistance was used to increase the degumming efficiency in flax water retting. Different pre-soaking times, microwave times, and microwave power were investigated in this study. The relationships between degumming rate and process parameters were established via response surface methodology (RSM). The optimum process parameters were a pre-soaking time of 25.5 h, a microwave time of 18.5 min, and a microwave power setting of 570 W. Under these optimal conditions, the degumming rate was 83.85% ± 1.13%, which was 1.33 times higher than that of natural hot water retting (P < 0.05). Moreover, the tensile properties and color of the resulting fibers showed that they had tensile properties similar to those of the natural hot water retting fibers. However, the color values for the natural hot water retting fibers were higher than those of the fibers treated with microwave-assisted flax water retting.


Microwave; Flax; Retting; Optimization; Fiber properties

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