Obtaining kenaf fibres with ease

November 25, 2016 by Azman Zakaria, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
Credit: Noor Azreen Awang

Researchers of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) have succeeded in developing Eco-Zyme, an enzyme that is extracted from locally isolated microbes to help in the process of kenaf retting in order to obtain kenaf fibres.

This enzyme will degrade pectic substances that bind kenaf fibres together in bundles form, releasing the single kenaf fibres from the kenaf bundles.

Eco-Zyme is developed by a team of five researchers, led by Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences Lecturer, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wan Zuhainis Saad.

According to Assoc. Prof. Dr Wan Zuhainis, Eco-Zyme possessed the advantages where it can shorten kenaf retting process to just three days from three or four weeks using present technology.

"Eco-Zyme can also produce good quality fibres which are cleaner, stronger and longer compared to the fibres produced using present technology.

"The reaction of the enzyme is also specific and it will not destroy or cause any damages to other components of the fibres," she told a press conference at the Research and Innovation Designs Exhibition 2016, here.

She added that the technology was easy to use, environmental-friendly and will work effectively in shorter time.

She also said the research to develop Eco-Zyme commenced in 2012 and ended last year.

The has been patented, however, it is still in the upscaling process.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wan Zuhainis also said the product could assist kenaf farmers and fibre manufacturers to increase their yields and productivity significantly.

Fibre-based companies can now get good and high quality kenaf fibres supply for use in the manufacturing of products such as bio-composite materials, furniture, textiles and automotive components.

The product won a gold medal in PRPI 2016 and received letters of interest from several companies and agencies following its high potential for commercialization.

Explore further: Innovative seeding machine to speed up kenaf planting

Related Stories

Allure of pineapple

October 4, 2010

Alluring dresses from pineapple? Scientists in Malaysia are looking into the potential of another 'cotton' – the pineapple. Jamil Salleh of UiTM, Shah Alam, Malaysia is to asses techniques to extract the long fibres ...

Plant-based building materials may boost energy savings

September 24, 2014

Scientists worldwide are turning to plants as a resource for biodegradable, renewable and environmentally friendly products and materials that can reduce landfill waste, help the environment and cause little to no damage ...

Recommended for you

Semimetals are high conductors

March 18, 2019

Researchers in China and at UC Davis have measured high conductivity in very thin layers of niobium arsenide, a type of material called a Weyl semimetal. The material has about three times the conductivity of copper at room ...

Researchers discover new material to help power electronics

March 18, 2019

Electronics rule our world, but electrons rule our electronics. A research team at The Ohio State University has discovered a way to simplify how electronic devices use those electrons—using a material that can serve dual ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.