Sustainable high-performance fibers from Himalayan giant nettle (Girardinia diversifolia L.)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Development of sustainable fibres for high performance applications is challenging because of the high mechanical strength properties demanded by such fibres and the general lack of such properties in natural fibres. Himalayan giant nettle (Girardinia diversifolia L.) produces bast fibers that simultaneously provide social and environmental benefits as well as attractive physical properties for high performance applications. An investigation of Himalayan giant nettle fiber was performed in parallel with the European nettle (Urtica dioica L.) fiber. The mean length of G. diversifolia fibre is substantially higher than U. dioica fibre, and the longest fibre length reported for any bast fibre. Ultimate stress value for G. diversifolia fibre is over twice that of U. dioica fibre, and the highest of any bast fibre reported.
Treatment with increasing concentrations of sodium hydroxide (0-8 M) were carried out in order to induce changes in molecular structure and to assess the influence on chemical and physical properties. G. diversifolia fiber transformed into cellulose II at NaOH concentrations over 4 mol dm-3 NaOH and both fibers display molecular orientation higher than that of normal cellulose. G. diversifolia fiber has good physical stability in the presence of moisture and a high dielectric insulating capacity. Elevated concentrations of NaOH regularize the molecular orientation within the fiber, making it more flexible. At various concentrations of NaOH the fiber shows different physical and mechanical properties; prototype textile constructions are designed whereby G. diversifolia fiber treated with differing concentrations of NaOH can provide composite materials with separate layers for strength, moisture management, breathability, and insulation from one starting material.
Period15 Jun 2016
Event title20th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference
Event typeConference
Conference number20
LocationPortland, United States, OregonShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational