Microwave-assisted retting and optimization of the process through chemical composition analysis of the matrix

Gopu Raveendran Nair, Jiby Kurian, V. Yaylayan, Denis Rho, Darwin Lyew, G. S.V. Raghavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pre-soaked flax stems were subjected to microwave assisted retting at different power levels and the effectiveness of microwave assisted retting was studied through the analysis of chemical compounds presented in the retted flax fibers processed from the stems. Response surface statistical design was used for this study with JMP® 10 software. Chemical analyses were performed by gravimetric methods to find out percentage of compounds. Cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and pectin concentrations and the sugar content in the solution obtained after the treatment were subjected to analysis. Cellulose percentage in the fiber was increased significantly (p<0.0001) with the increase of microwave power at various soaking levels, which proved the release of cellulosic fiber with the application of microwave energy during retting. Hemicellulose, lignin and pectin concentrations decreased significantly after microwave-assisted retting which explained higher degree of retting after the treatment. This study noted change in chemical composition of the fibers, which can be used as a tool to estimate the effectiveness of microwave-assisted retting and the results could lead to optimization of the process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalIndustrial Crops and Products
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioprocess
  • Chemical analysis
  • Flax fiber
  • Microwave
  • Retting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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