Enzymatic retting of kudzu fibers

Authors

  • Yutaka Kawahara,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Gunma University, Tenjin-Cho 1-5-1, Kiryu,Gunma 376-8515, Japan
    2. Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Matsugasaki, Sakyo-Ku, Kyoto 606-8585, Japan
    • Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Gunma University, Tenjin-Cho 1-5-1, Kiryu,Gunma 376-8515, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Tomoyuki Tsuda,

    1. Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Matsugasaki, Sakyo-Ku, Kyoto 606-8585, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Hideaki Minami,

    1. Kyoto Municipal Industrial Research Institute, Chudoji 134, Minami-Machi, Shimogyo-Ku, Kyoto 600-8813, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Shigenori Nishiuchi,

    1. Kyoto Municipal Industrial Research Institute, Chudoji 134, Minami-Machi, Shimogyo-Ku, Kyoto 600-8813, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rie Endo

    1. Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Matsugasaki, Sakyo-Ku, Kyoto 606-8585, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

The enzymatic retting of kudzu fibers was performed with several commercial enzymes, and the effects on the retting were compared with respect to the smoothness of the surface of the fibers and the mechanical properties. The commercial enzymes were classified into two types, that is, cellulase and pectinase. For the cellulase type, enzymatic decomposition occurred almost topochemically because of the cooperation of cellulase with high activity, and then the retting was fully achieved, suppressing the damage to the intercellular matrix (middle lamella) by pectinase. For the pectinase type, decomposition predominately occurred in the middle lamella joining the adjacent fibrous cells. Therefore, the tensile properties of the retted fibers were lowered. In the retting of kudzu fibers, a topochemical process is promising for producing fibers with excellent luster that retain the tensile properties. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 2007

Ancillary