Document Type : Regular Article
Department of Chemical Engineering, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro, Pakistan
Natural fiber is typically derived from plants that exhibit low density, light weight, and abundant availability, along with the added advantage of being biodegradable. The Cardia Dichotoma plant's branches serve as a prominent source of natural cellulose fiber, offering a vast quantity for extraction. However, despite its hydrophilic nature, natural fiber exhibits poor compatibility with both fiber and matrix during the mixing process. To enhance its adhesive properties, the fiber undergoes a series of treatments, including Alkalization, Benzoylation, and Acetylation. In this research, the influence of alkali (untreated, 5%, 10%, and 15% NaOH) was investigated over morphology, functional groups, physical and mechanical properties of fiber obtained from Cardia Dichotoma. SEM indicated bigger pore size, reduced thickness and rough surface with etched striations in alkali-treated samples. FTIR peaks inferred that the use of alkali receded hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin. Tensile Force & Elongation at intervals showed that the mechanical properties of the increasing amount of Alkali reduced the mechanical properties of the fiber by 5 percentages. Conclusively, 5% NaOH was found to be the optimum ratio that effectively removed hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin, however, higher percentage decreased tensile strength and elongation at break of the respective fiber.