This work explores the use of supercritical carbon dioxide (sc-CO2) conditions as an innovative and environmentally friendly treatment of plant fibres to optimize their performance for integration into composite materials. This study evaluates, in particular, the influence of this treatment on the mechanical, thermal, hygroscopic properties and biochemical features of industrial hemp bast fibres. Two distinct settings were tested by tuning time, temperature and pressure parameters to assess the influence of the severity of the treatment on the fibre quality. Results show that sc-CO2 treatment induces an increase in the fibre fineness and a decrease in their moisture sensitivity while maintaining their initial resistance to temperature. These changes are consistent with the measured decrease in the relative content of hemicelluloses. A significant decrease in the tensile rigidity and strength is also observed as a function of the severity of sc-CO2 treatment, counterbalancing a little bit the benefits retained on the other properties.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Mohanty AK, Misra M, Drzal LT (2005) Natural fibers, biopolymers, and biocomposites. Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton
Pickering KL, Efendy MGA, Le TM (2016) A review of recent developments in natural fibre composites and their mechanical performance. Compos Part Appl Sci Manuf 83:98–112. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesa.2015.08.038
Liu M, Thygesen A, Summerscales J, Meyer AS (2017) Targeted pre-treatment of hemp bast fibres for optimal performance in biocomposite materials: a review. Ind Crops Prod 108:660–683. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2017.07.027
Coroller G, Lefeuvre A, Le Duigou A et al (2013) Effect of flax fibres individualisation on tensile failure of flax/epoxy unidirectional composite. Compos Part Appl Sci Manuf 51:62–70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesa.2013.03.018
Rask M, Madsen B, Sørensen BF et al (2012) In situ observations of microscale damage evolution in unidirectional natural fibre composites. Compos Part Appl Sci Manuf 43:1639–1649. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesa.2012.02.007
Placet V, Méteau J, Froehly L et al (2014) Investigation of the internal structure of hemp fibres using optical coherence tomography and Focused Ion Beam transverse cutting. J Mater Sci 49:8317–8327. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-014-8540-5
Charlet K, Béakou A (2011) Mechanical properties of interfaces within a flax bundle—Part I: experimental analysis. Int J Adhes Adhes 31:875–881. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijadhadh.2011.08.008
Dhakal H, Zhang Z, Richardson M (2007) Effect of water absorption on the mechanical properties of hemp fibre reinforced unsaturated polyester composites. Compos Sci Technol 67:1674–1683. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compscitech.2006.06.019
Le Duigou A, Davies P, Baley C (2009) Seawater ageing of flax/poly(lactic acid) biocomposites. Polym Degrad Stab 94:1151–1162. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2009.03.025
Pucci MF, Liotier P-J, Seveno D et al (2017) Wetting and swelling property modifications of elementary flax fibres and their effects on the liquid composite molding process. Compos Part Appl Sci Manuf 97:31–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesa.2017.02.028
Peach J, Eastoe J (2014) Supercritical carbon dioxide: a solvent like no other. Beilstein J Org Chem 10:1878–1895. https://doi.org/10.3762/bjoc.10.196
Zhang X, Heinonen S, Levänen E (2014) Applications of supercritical carbon dioxide in materials processing and synthesis. RSC Adv 4:61137–61152. https://doi.org/10.1039/C4RA10662H
Schmidt A, Bach E, Schollmeyer E (2002) Damage to natural and synthetic fibers treated in supercritical carbon dioxide at 300 bar and temperatures up to 160 C. Text Res J 72:1023–1032
Demagalhaes Nunes Da ponte ML, Da Silva Lopes JA, Vesna N-V et al (2013) Method for direct treatment of cork stoppers, using supercritical fluids, Patent WO/2010/093273
Serna LVD, Alzate CEO, Alzate CAA (2016) Supercritical fluids as a green technology for the pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass. Bioresour Technol 199:113–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2015.09.078
Attard TM, Bainier C, Reinaud M et al (2018) Utilisation of supercritical fluids for the effective extraction of waxes and Cannabidiol (CBD) from hemp wastes. Ind Crops Prod 112:38–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2017.10.045
Patil PD, Dandamudi KPR, Wang J et al (2018) Extraction of bio-oils from algae with supercritical carbon dioxide and co-solvents. J Supercrit Fluids 135:60–68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.supflu.2017.12.019
Gutiérrez MC, de Rosa PTV, De Paoli M-A, Felisberti MI (2012) Biocompósitos de acetato de celulose e fibras curtas de Curauá tratadas com CO2 supercrítico. Polímeros 22:295–302. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-14282012005000037
张华, 张建春, 郝新敏 (2009) Degumming method of hemp fiber, Patent CN100564619C
Placet V, Day A, Beaugrand J (2017) The influence of unintended field retting on the physicochemical and mechanical properties of industrial hemp bast fibres. J Mater Sci 52:5759–5777. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-017-0811-5
Hill CAS, Norton A, Newman G (2009) The water vapor sorption behavior of natural fibers. J Appl Polym Sci 112:1524–1537. https://doi.org/10.1002/app.29725
Placet V, Trivaudey F, Cisse O et al (2012) Diameter dependence of the apparent tensile modulus of hemp fibres: a morphological, structural or ultrastructural effect? Compos Part Appl Sci Manuf 43:275–287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesa.2011.10.019
Martin N, Mouret N, Davies P, Baley C (2013) Influence of the degree of retting of flax fibers on the tensile properties of single fibers and short fiber/polypropylene composites. Ind Crops Prod 49:755–767. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2013.06.012
Alix S, Colasse L, Morvan C et al (2014) Pressure impact of autoclave treatment on water sorption and pectin composition of flax cellulosic-fibres. Carbohydr Polym 102:21–29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2013.10.092
Hailwood AJ, Horrobin S (1946) Absorption of water by polymers: analysis in terms of a simple model. Trans Faraday Soc 42:B084–B092. https://doi.org/10.1039/tf946420b084
Li T, Cheng D, Avramidis S et al (2017) Response of hygroscopicity to heat treatment and its relation to durability of thermally modified wood. Constr Build Mater 144:671–676. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2017.03.218
Thygesen A, Oddershede J, Lilholt H et al (2005) On the determination of crystallinity and cellulose content in plant fibres. Cellulose 12:563–576. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10570-005-9001-8
Li Y, Pickering KL (2008) Hemp fibre reinforced composites using chelator and enzyme treatments. Compos Sci Technol 68:3293–3298. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compscitech.2008.08.022
The authors are grateful for general and financial support from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS-France) and the University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté. C.F. is thankful for a PhD fellowship awarded by the Conseil Régional de Bourgogne (France) in the frame of the “Jeunes Chercheurs Entrepreneurs-2016” program.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
François, C., Placet, V., Beaugrand, J. et al. Can supercritical carbon dioxide be suitable for the green pretreatment of plant fibres dedicated to composite applications?. J Mater Sci 55, 4671–4684 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-019-04293-y