Semester of Graduation

Summer 2021

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Textiles, Apparel, and Merchandising

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Hemp is considered as one of the sustainable agricultural fiber materials. Degumming or surface modification of hemp bast is needed to produce single fibers for ensuing textile and industrial applications. The traditional degumming process necessitates a high amount of alkali, which causes detrimental environmental pollution. This study offers a new method to degum hemp fibers with reduced use of harmful alkali and precious water resources. In this work, hemp bast fibers were degummed by using combined microwave energy and deep eutectic solvent (DES). The properties of hemp fibers manufactured by this method were investigated and compared with the traditional alkali process. Several analytical techniques were used to characterize and perform a comparative analysis of the degummed fibers. Results revealed that the fiber qualities, including fiber surface morphology and UV shielding performance of DES-treated fibers at 1:20 solid-liquor ratio (UPF value was 183.67) were higher than these from the traditional alkali treated (140.75) and untreated raw hemp fibers (127.47). FT-IR, SEM, NMR, and XRD confirmed that degumming using a Microwave-DES treatment at 1:20 solid-liquor ratio had a higher yield with respect to removal of gummy materials (lignin and hemicellulose, etc.). TGA and DSC also confirmed the higher thermal stability of DES-treated fibers. In addition, cellulose content in the Microwave-DES treated samples was increased to 44.82% - 49.95% which was comparable with the increased cellulose content (49.49%) of alkali treated fibers. All these data indicate the effective, less time-consuming, green, and environmentally sustainable protocol for manufacturing hemp fibers.

Committee Chair

Negulescu, Ioan

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