Comparative Analysis of Alkaline and Enzymatic Degumming Process of Hemp Fibers


In this study, a comparison between alkaline and enzymatic degumming process of hemp fibers has been carried out. Degumming of hemp fibers is essential to remove the lignin content and to segregate the individual fibers for textile grade applications. In this research, optimization of degumming process parameters was carried out to reduce the strength loss in fibers. The percentage weight loss of hemp fibers after the degumming process was studied. Two approaches comprising alkaline and enzymatic methods were used. Hemp fiber diameter was determined along with the single fiber strength before and after the degumming process. Stiffness is directly linked to fiber diameter. Therefore, the fiber diameter was also taken into consideration for optimization of the degumming process. The chemicals used in alkali degumming were sodium hydroxide, magnesium sulfate, hydrogen peroxide, and magnesium chloride. Alkali degumming was the best-suited degumming method for segregating the individual hemp fibers. The optimized parameters obtained for alkali degumming method were heating time 50 min and heating temperature 75 °C. Enzymatic degumming is an eco-friendly method, but the result obtained does not provide a better separation of fibers and fine fiber diameter.

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Correspondence to B. K. Behera.

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Rani, K., Ahirwar, M. & Behera, B.K. Comparative Analysis of Alkaline and Enzymatic Degumming Process of Hemp Fibers. J. Inst. Eng. India Ser. E 101, 1–10 (2020).

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  • Industrial hemp
  • Degumming
  • Weight loss
  • Strength loss
  • Surface morphology