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.
- Velvet leaf
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Waste Management and Disposal