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Bioresour Technol. 2009 Jul;100(14):3593-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2008.09.063. Epub 2009 Apr 3.

Natural cellulose fibers from soybean straw.

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Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design, 234, HECO Building, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0802, USA.


This paper reports the development of natural cellulose technical fibers from soybean straw with properties similar to the natural cellulose fibers in current use. About 220 million tons of soybean straw available in the world every year could complement the byproducts of other major food crops as inexpensive, abundant and annually renewable sources for natural cellulose fibers. Using the agricultural byproducts as sources for fibers could help to address the concerns on the future price and availability of both the natural and synthetic fibers in current use and also help to add value to the food crops. A simple alkaline extraction was used to obtain technical fibers from soybean straw and the composition, structure and properties of the fibers was studied. Technical fibers obtained from soybean straw have high cellulose content (85%) but low% crystallinity (47%). The technical fibers have breaking tenacity (2.7 g/den) and breaking elongation (3.9%) higher than those of fibers obtained from wheat straw and sorghum stalk and leaves but lower than that of cotton. Overall, the structure and properties of the technical fibers obtained from soybean straw indicates that the fibers could be suitable for use in textile, composite and other industrial applications.

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