Characterizing natural cellulose fibers from velvet leaf (Abutilon theophrasti) stems

Narendra Reddy, Yiqi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Velvet leaf (Abutilon theophrasti) that is currently considered a weed and an agricultural problem could be used as a source for high quality natural cellulose fibers. The fibers obtained from the velvet leaf stems are mainly composed of approximately 69% cellulose and 17% lignin. The single cells in the fiber have lengths of approximately 0.9 mm, shorter than those in common bast fibers, hemp and kenaf. However, the widths of single cells in velvet leaf fibers are similar to the single cells in hemp and kenaf. The fibers exhibited breaking tenacity from 2.4 to 3.9 g/denier (325-500 MPa), breaking elongation of 1.6-2.4% and Young's modulus of 140-294 g/denier (18-38 GPa). Overall, velvet leaf fibers have properties similar to that of common bast fibers such as hemp and kenaf. Velvet leaves fibers could be processed on the current kenaf processing machineries for textile, composite, automotive and other fibrous applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2449-2454
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Biofiber
  • Biomass
  • Cellulose
  • Properties
  • Velvet leaf

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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