Sugarcane Fiber

One of the crops that is produced in the most quantity worldwide is sugarcane. A significant amount of sugarcane fibers are produced each year due to the over a billion tonnes of sugarcane that are produced. The utilization of sugarcane fibers is thus growing in popularity day by day. Numerous innovative uses for sugarcane fibers have been discovered in order to efficiently use resources. They have a lot of development potential and can be used as compost, biofuels, plastic substitutes, food additives, and more.

Introduction:

Sugarcane Bagasse Fiber is another name for sugarcane fibers with a high water and fiber content. Bagasse is the fibrous, dry, pulpy residue left over after the juice from the stalks of sugarcane or sorghum has been extracted. Humans have been cultivating sugarcane and making sugar since the time of the ancient Egyptians. After the era of Exploration, as the global sugar trade expanded, sugarcane was grown extensively in tropical regions. For the generation of heat, energy, and electricity as well as the creation of pulp and construction materials, it serves as a biofuel.

Method of manufacture:

  • Initially, the juice is extracted from sugarcane
  • Following juice extraction, bagasse is gathered for fiber extraction.
  • The bagasse’s softcore component pith is painstakingly removed to reveal the outside hard ring.
  • After that, the samples are treated with hot water.
  • The samples are subsequently dried in the sun.
  • The chemical treatment of these samples follows.
  • The fibers are separated after chemical treatment.

Features:

  • Crystallinity ranges from 63% to 68%.
  • Fiber fineness is based on the level of maturity.
  • Absorption of moisture: improbable a possibility of 0% to 13%.
  • 50% to 60% elastic recovery.
  • Depending on the development level, torsion rigidity changes.
  • Flexural rigidity ranges from 0.015 to 0.032 grams per centimeter square.

Although the textile industry has adopted sugarcane fiber, there are still a few features that make fiber suitable for textile applications. Some of the fundamental specifications are the fiber’s length, which must be numerous hundred times its breadth in order for the fibers to be able to be wound together to generate a yarn.  Another important factor is the fiber’s real length. Even if the bagasse fiber can be quite long, it shouldn’t be less than 6 to 12 mm. The fiber may not keep together if it is not the desired length.

The conditions and method of extraction affect the length of the extracted fiber bundles. The breadth of the strands of fiber determines how thin the cloth is. To endure spinning and weaving procedures, the bagasse fibers must also be robust. Tensile strength, often known as “tenacity,” is typically used to gauge a fiber’s strength. The amount of mass of a unit length of the fiber, known as linear density, is expressed as grams per 1000m and referred to as “tex” or grams per 9000m and is referred to as “denier”. The conditions of extraction affect the sugarcane fibers’ toughness as well.

Chemical substances:

Component                  Percentage

Cellulose                       45-55%

Hemicellulose              20-25%

Lignin                             18-24%

Ash                                 1-4%

Wax                               <1%

Manufacturing in Bangladesh:

  • Bangladesh is self-sufficient in the production of sugarcane.
  • Rajshahi, Mymensingh, and Rangpur.
  • The main region for producing sugarcane is Khulna, Jessore, Kushtia, and Faridpur.

End Uses:

Currently, sugarcane fibers are extensively used in a variety of everyday life-related industries. Like-

  1. Power industry.
  2. Animal husbandry.
  3. Agricultural and food production.
  4. Pollution control.
  5. Construction, etc.

Moreover, uses in other sectors-

  • Alcohol
  • Fuel
  • Board
  • Pulp
  • Plastic
  • Board
  • Feed
  • Wall panel
  • High-quality paper
  • Lightweight furniture
  • Use & throw cups, dishes, and bowls

Benefits:

  • Made from agricultural waste.
  • Strong and sturdy.
  • Low cost.
  • Biodegradable  & compostable.
  • Biological carbon sequestration.
  • Low-carbon alternative materials.
  • Supports green consumption.
  • Nutritious fertilizer.
  • Comparatively high tensile strength.
  • High impact strength.
  • Low weight.
  • Easily available.
  • Reusable.

Conclusion:

Sugarcane fiber has gained appeal on a global scale because of its benefits, including being hygienic, secure, long-lasting, and environmentally beneficial. In addition, using items made from sugarcane fiber allows for the mitigation of climate change, the biggest threat to humanity right now. Even with the benefits, the fashion industry has been influenced to prefer sugarcane fibers over other synthetic materials by the fall and appearance of the fiber. Consequently, the utilization of sugarcane fiber commodities will continue to grow.

Rafidul Amin Soeb
Department of Textile Engineering 
Primeasia University

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