Biological natural retting for determining the hierarchical structuration of banana fibers

Piedad Gañán, Robin Zuluaga, Juan Manuel Velez, Iñaki Mondragon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    57 Scopus citations


    Extraction processes of natural fibers can be performed by different procedures that include mechanical, chemical and biological methods. Each method presents different advantages of drawbacks acoording to the amount of fiber produced or the quality and properties of fiber bundles obtained. In this study, biological natural retting was satisfactorily used for obtaining banana fibers from plant bunches. However, the most important contribution of this work refers to the description of the hierarchical microstructural ordering present in banana fiber bundles in both bundle surface and inner region. The chemical composition of banana fiber bundles has been evaluated by FTIR spectroscopy. Through exposure time, the fiber bundle configuration presents small variations in composition. The main changes are related to hemicellulose and pectins as they conform the outer walls of the bundle. Hierarchical helicoidal ordering in the bundle surface as well as orientation on the longitudinal axis of the bundle were observed by optical microscopy (OM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for 3-4 μm surface fibers and 10-15 μm inner elementary fibers, respectively. With increasing exposure time, fiber bundle walls lose integrity, as reflected in their mechanical behavior.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)978-983
    Number of pages6
    JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - 20 Nov 2004


    • Banana fiber bundles
    • Biological natural retting
    • Fibers
    • Mechanical properties
    • Microscopy


    Dive into the research topics of 'Biological natural retting for determining the hierarchical structuration of banana fibers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this