A Comparative Fiber Morphological Analysis of Major Agricultural Residues (Used or Investigated) as Feedstock in the Pulp and Paper Industry

Dimitrios Tsalagkas, Zoltán Börcsök, Zoltán Pásztory, Vladimír Gryc, Levente Csóka, Kyriaki Giagli


The suitabilities of major agricultural residues were assessed as papermaking feedstocks. All the examined agricultural residues were assumed as potential candidates for substituting hardwood fibers in mixed pulp blends from a fiber morphological perspective. Wheat, barley, rice, rapeseed, maize, sunflower, sugarcane bagasse, coconut husk, and two genotypes of miscanthus grass underwent identical maceration. The fiber length, fiber width, cell wall thickness, and lumen diameter were measured to calculate the slenderness ratio, flexibility coefficient, and Runkel ratio. The average fiber length ranged from 0.50 mm ± 0.32 mm (MG-S-02-V) to 1.15 mm mm ± 0.58 mm (sugarcane bagasse). The fiber width ranged from 10.77 μm ± 3.28 μm (rice straw) to 22.99 mm ± 5.20 mm (sunflower stalk). The lumen diameter ranged from 4.52 μm ± 2.52 μm (rice straw) to 13.23 μm ± 4.87 μm (sunflower stalk). The cell wall thickness ranged from 3.02 μm ± 0.95 μm (rice straw) to 4.80 μm ± 1.48 μm (sunflower stalk). The slenderness ratio, flexibility coefficient, and Runkel ratio values ranged between 28.08 to 58.11, 37.97 to 60.8, and 0.62 to 1.68, respectively. Wheat, maize, rapeseed, sugarcane bagasse, and coconut husk were found to be appropriate residue sources for papermaking feedstocks.


Agricultural waste biomass; Non-wood fibres; Papermaking potential; Morphological indices

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