Variation of chemical and morphological properties of different parts of banana plant (Musa paradisica) and their effects on pulping

Document Type: Research Paper



Chemical and morphological characterization of different parts of banana plant
(Musa paradisica) (peduncle, leaf stalk and pseudo stem) were carried out in order
to assess their potentiality for chemical pulp. Each portion was tested for
extractives, sodium hydroxide solubility, ash, lignin, cellulose and pentosan
contents as well as their fiber length and width. These segmented parts were
characterized as low amount of lignin (12.8–16.1%) and moderate amount of α-
cellulose (31.6–43.3%) and relatively high amount of ash (7.6–19.1%), alkali
solubility (32.4-51.4%) and water solubility. The morphological properties of the
banana plant, in terms of fiber length and width were found to be a medium fiber
with high slenderness ratio. Kraft process was applied for the three portions of
banana plant to evaluate pulp properties. At the optimal pulping (Active alkali
22% for peduncle, 16% for leaf stalk and pseudo stem at 150 oC for 1 hour) pulp
yields about 30.5–40.5% on oven dried (OD) raw material with kappa number from
16.9 to 26.1 were obtained when cooking was carried out for 1 hour. Mechanical
properties of the unbleached pulp showed a high tensile, tear and burst index for
pseudo stem.