2006 Volume 55 Issue 4 Pages 363-366
Kenaf is a fast-growing plant and is noticed as a nonwood fiber resource. There will be significance in the kenaf utilization when the unique characteristics of kenaf will be effective for certain purposes. In this study, pulping and bleaching of kenaf were carried out to examine the usability of kenaf as a fibrous material. We examined a hydrotropic pulping and an enzymatic bleaching, considering the environmental feasibility. Sodium m-xylene sulfonate solution (NaXS) and sodium p-toluene sulfonate solution (NaTS) were used as the hydrotropic regents. The characteristic peaks for lignin were detected by means of UV, 13C-NMR, and FT-IR measurements of the solution after the hydrotropic cooking. The solution after the NaTS cooking produced precipitation when it was stand at room temperature, although the NaXS was stable. This shows that NaXS has higher power of dissolution of lignin. The molecular orbital calculation implied that this difference was originated from the micelle forming ability of the regents. The enzymatic bleaching by manganese peroxidase (MnP) was applied for the obtained pulp. The brightness was increased in 17.4% and the Kappa number was lowered in 9.0 for the bast fibers by the biobleaching.