Comparison of traditional field retting and Phlebia radiata Cel 26 retting of hemp fibres for fibre-reinforced composites.
ABSTRACT: Classical field retting and controlled fungal retting of hemp using Phlebia radiata Cel 26 (a mutant with low cellulose degrading ability) were compared with pure pectinase treatment with regard to mechanical properties of the produced fibre/epoxy composites. For field retting a classification of the microbial evolution (by gene sequencing) and enzyme profiles were conducted. By phylogenetic frequency mapping, different types of fungi, many belonging to the Ascomycota phylum were found on the fibres during the first 2 weeks of field retting, and thereafter, different types of bacteria, notably Proteobacteria, also proliferated on the field retted fibres. Extracts from field retted fibres exhibited high glucanase activities, while extracts from P. radiata Cel 26 retted fibres showed high polygalacturonase and laccase activities. As a result, fungal retting gave a significantly higher glucan content in the fibres than field retting (77 vs. 67%) and caused a higher removal of pectin as indicated by lower galacturonan content of fibres (1.6%) after fibres were retted for 20 days with P. radiata Cel 26 compared to a galacturonan content of 3.6% for field retted fibres. Effective fibre stiffness increased slightly after retting with P. radiata Cel 26 from 65 to 67 GPa, while it decreased after field retting to 52 GPa. Effective fibre strength could not be determined similarly due to variations in fibre fracture strain and fibre-matrix adhesion. A maximum composite strength with 50 vol% fibres of 307 MPa was obtained using P. radiata Cel 26 compared to 248 MPa with field retting.
Project description:Jute fibre is the second most important fibre next to cotton. It is obtained from the bark of plant through microbial retting process. Here we report optimized microbial retting protocol that can lower retting period and produce high fibre quality. A total of 451 bacterial colonies have been isolated from five jute retting water samples in Bangladesh. Higher pectinolytic bacterial isolates were predominant in the later stage of jute retting. Out of these, 168 isolates have been screened by both semi-quantitative and quantitative pectinase, xylanase and cellulase enzyme assay. Among them, 144 isolates have been selected on the basis of extra cellular enzyme activity of these three enzymes. 16?s ribosomal gene sequencing analysis identified 2 phyla- Firmicutis (80.55%) and Proteobacteria (19.45%). To check the synergistic and antagonistic effect 10 selected isolates were tested in 167 different combinations. Three best combinations were identified that lowered retting period from 18-21 days to 10 days producing high quality fibre in both laboratory and field trial. This improved retting technology can be adopted in industrial scale for the production of quality jute fibre in a controlled condition in reduced water quantity without polluting the environment.
Project description:Retting of bast fibres requires removal of pectin, hemicellulose and other non-cellulosic materials from plant stem tissues by a complex microbial community. A microbial retting consortium with high-efficiency pectinolytic bacterial strains is effective in reducing retting-time and enhancing fibre quality. We report comprehensive genomic analyses of three bacterial strains (PJRB 1, 2 and 3) of the consortium and resolve their taxonomic status, genomic features, variations, and pan-genome dynamics. The genome sizes of the strains are ~3.8?Mb with 3729 to 4002 protein-coding genes. Detailed annotations of the protein-coding genes revealed different carbohydrate-degrading CAZy classes viz. PL1, PL9, GH28, CE8, and CE12. Phylogeny and structural features of pectate lyase proteins of PJRB strains divulge their functional uniqueness and evolutionary convergence with closely related Bacillus strains. Genome-wide prediction of genomic variations revealed 12461 to 67381 SNPs, and notably many unique SNPs were localized within the important pectin metabolism genes. The variations in the pectate lyase genes possibly contribute to their specialized pectinolytic function during the retting process. These findings encompass a strong foundation for fundamental and evolutionary studies on this unique microbial degradation of decaying plant material with immense industrial significance. These have preponderant implications in plant biomass research and food industry, and also posit application in the reclamation of water pollution from plant materials.
Project description:High-throughput sequencing and GC-MS (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry) were jointly used to reveal the bacterial succession and metabolite changes during flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) retting. The inoculation of Bacillus cereus HDYM-02 decreased bacterial richness and diversity. This inoculum led to the replacement of Enterobacteriaceae by Bacillaceae. The level of aerobic Pseudomonadaceae (mainly Azotobacter) and anaerobic Clostridiaceae_1 gradually increased and decreased, respectively. Following the addition of B. cereus HDYM-02, the dominant groups were all degumming enzyme producers or have been proven to be involved in microbial retting throughout the entire retting period. These results could be verified by the metabolite changes, either degumming enzymes or their catalytic products galacturonic acid and reducing sugars. The GC-MS data showed a clear separation between flax retting with and without B. cereus HDYM-02, particularly within the first 72 h. These findings reveal the important bacterial groups that are involved in fiber retting and will facilitate improvements in the retting process.
Project description:Natural fibers can be attractive reinforcing materials in thermosetting polymers due to their low density and high specific mechanical properties. Although the research effort in this area has grown substantially over the last 20 years, manufacturing technologies to make use of short natural fibers in high volume fraction composites; are still limited. Natural fibers, after retting and preprocessing, are discontinuous and easily form entangled bundles. Dispersion and mixing these short fibers with resin to manufacture high quality, high volume fraction composites presents a significant challenge. In this paper, a novel pneumatic design for dispersion of natural fibers in their original discontinuous form is described. In this design, compressed air is used to create vacuum to feed and convey fibres while breaking down fibre clumps and dispersing them in an aerosolized resin stream. Model composite materials, made using proof-of-concept prototype equipment, were imaged with both optical and X-ray tomography to evaluate fibre and resin dispersion. The images indicated that the system was capable of providing an intimate mixture of resin and detangled fibres for two different resin viscosities. The new pneumatic process could serve as the basis of a system to produce well-dispersed high-volume fraction composites containing discontinuous natural fibres drawn directly from a loosely packed source.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In recent decades cultivation of flax and its application have dramatically decreased. One of the reasons for this is unpredictable quality and properties of flax fibre, because they depend on environmental factors, retting duration and growing conditions. These factors have contribution to the fibre composition, which consists of cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin and pectin. By far, it is largely established that in flax, lignin reduces an accessibility of enzymes either to pectin, hemicelluloses or cellulose (during retting or in biofuel synthesis and paper production).Therefore, in this study we evaluated composition and properties of flax fibre from plants with silenced CAD (cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase) gene, which is key in the lignin biosynthesis. There is evidence that CAD is a useful tool to improve lignin digestibility and/or to lower the lignin levels in plants. RESULTS: Two studied lines responded differentially to the introduced modification due to the efficiency of the CAD silencing. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that flax CAD belongs to the "bona-fide" CAD family. CAD down-regulation had an effect in the reduced lignin amount in the flax fibre cell wall and as FT-IR results suggests, disturbed lignin composition and structure. Moreover introduced modification activated a compensatory mechanism which was manifested in the accumulation of cellulose and/or pectin. These changes had putative correlation with observed improved fiber's tensile strength. Moreover, CAD down-regulation did not disturb at all or has only slight effect on flax plants' development in vivo, however, the resistance against flax major pathogen Fusarium oxysporum decreased slightly. The modification positively affected fibre possessing; it resulted in more uniform retting. CONCLUSION: The major finding of our paper is that the modification targeted directly to block lignin synthesis caused not only reduced lignin level in fibre, but also affected amount and organization of cellulose and pectin. However, to conclude that all observed changes are trustworthy and correlated exclusively to CAD repression, further analysis of the modified plants genome is necessary. Secondly, this is one of the first studies on the crop from the low-lignin plants from the field trail which demonstrates that such plants could be successfully cultivated in a field.
Project description:Flax dew-retting is a key step in the industrial extraction of fibers from flax stems and is dependent upon the production of a battery of hydrolytic enzymes produced by micro-organisms during this process. To explore the diversity and dynamics of bacterial and fungal communities involved in this process we applied a high-throughput sequencing (HTS) DNA metabarcoding approach (16S rRNA/ITS region, Illumina Miseq) on plant and soil samples obtained over a period of 7 weeks in July and August 2014. Twenty-three bacterial and six fungal phyla were identified in soil samples and 11 bacterial and four fungal phyla in plant samples. Dominant phyla were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes (bacteria) and Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Zygomycota (fungi) all of which have been previously associated with flax dew-retting except for Bacteroidetes and Basidiomycota that were identified for the first time. Rare phyla also identified for the first time in this process included Acidobacteria, CKC4, Chlorobi, Fibrobacteres, Gemmatimonadetes, Nitrospirae and TM6 (bacteria), and Chytridiomycota (fungi). No differences in microbial communities and colonization dynamics were observed between early and standard flax harvests. In contrast, the common agricultural practice of swath turning affects both bacterial and fungal community membership and structure in straw samples and may contribute to a more uniform retting. Prediction of community function using PICRUSt indicated the presence of a large collection of potential bacterial enzymes capable of hydrolyzing backbones and side-chains of cell wall polysaccharides. Assignment of functional guild (functional group) using FUNGuild software highlighted a change from parasitic to saprophytic trophic modes in fungi during retting. This work provides the first exhaustive description of the microbial communities involved in flax dew-retting and will provide a valuable benchmark in future studies aiming to evaluate the effects of other parameters (e.g., year-to year and site variability etc.) on this complex process.
Project description:Gecko-inspired microfibre arrays with 42 million polypropylene fibres cm(-2) (each fibre with elastic modulus 1 GPa, length 20 microm and diameter 0.6 microm) were fabricated and tested under pure shear loading conditions, after removing a preload of less than 0.1 N cm(-2). After sliding to engage fibres, 2 cm2 patches developed up to 4N of shear force with an estimated contact region of 0.44 cm2. The control unfibrillated surface had no measurable shear force. For comparison, a natural setal patch tested under the same conditions on smooth glass showed approximately seven times greater shear per unit estimated contact region. Similar to gecko fibre arrays, the synthetic patch maintains contact and increases shear force with sliding. The high shear force observed (approx. 210 nN per fibre) suggests that fibres are in side contact, providing a larger true contact area than would be obtained by tip contact. Shear force increased over the course of repeated tests for synthetic patches, suggesting deformation of fibres into more favourable conformations.
Project description:Recent developments in graphene oxide fibre (GO) processing include exciting demonstrations of hand woven textile structures. However, it is uncertain whether the fibres produced can meet the processing requirements of conventional textile manufacturing. This work reports for the first time the production of highly flexible and tough GO fibres that can be knitted using textile machinery. The GO fibres are made by using a dry-jet wet-spinning method, which allows drawing of the spinning solution (the GO dispersion) in several stages of the fibre spinning process. The coagulation composition and spinning conditions are evaluated in detail, which led to the production of densely packed fibres with near-circular cross-sections and highly ordered GO domains. The results are knittable GO fibres with Young's modulus of ~7.9 GPa, tensile strength of ~135.8 MPa, breaking strain of ~5.9%, and toughness of ~5.7 MJ m(-3). The combination of suitable spinning method, coagulation composition, and spinning conditions led to GO fibres with remarkable toughness; the key factor in their successful knitting. This work highlights important progress in realising the full potential of GO fibres as a new class of textile.
Project description:Cannabis products have been used in various fields of everyday life for many centuries, and applications in folk medicine and textile production have been well-known for many centuries. For traditional textile production, hemp fibers were extracted from the stems by water retting in stagnant or slow-moving waters. During this procedure, parts of the plant material' among them phytocannabinoids' are released into the water. Cannabinol (CBN) is an important degradation product of the predominant phytocannabinoids found in Cannabis species. Thus, it is an excellent indicator for present as well as ancient hemp water retting. In this study, we developed and validated a simple and fast method for the determination of CBN in sediment samples using high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) combined with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), thereby testing different extraction and cleanup procedures' as well as various sorbents and solvents for planar chromatography. This method shows a satisfactory overall analytical performance with an average recovery rate of 73%. Our protocol enabled qualitative and quantitative analyses of CBN in samples of a bottom sediment core' having been obtained from a small lake in Northern India, where intense local retting of hemp was suggested in the past. The analyses showed a maximum CBN content in pollen zone 4 covering a depth range of 262-209 cm, dating from approximately 480 BCE to 1050 CE. These findings correlate with existing records of Cannabis-type pollen. Thus, the method we propose is a helpful tool to track ancient hemp retting activities. Graphical Abstract.
Project description:Poly(vinylidene fluoride) has attracted interest from the biomaterials community owing to its stimuli responsive piezoelectric property and promising results for application in the field of tissue engineering. Here, solution blow spinning and electrospinning were employed to fabricate PVDF fibres and the variation in resultant fibre properties assessed. The proportion of piezoelectric ?-phase in the solution blow spun fibres was higher than electrospun fibres. Fibre production rate was circa three times higher for solution blow spinning compared to electrospinning for the conditions explored. However, the solution blow spinning method resulted in higher fibre variability between fabricated batches. Fibrous membranes are capable of generating different cellular response depending on fibre diameter. For this reason, electrospun fibres with micron and sub-micron diameters were fabricated, along with successful inclusion of hydroxyapatite particles to fabricate stimuli responsive bioactive fibres.