Fibre Characteristics of Delonix regia (Hook.) Raf. Wood as Indices of its Suitability for Papermaking
Keywords:Delonix regia, Fibre length, Fibre diameter, Runkel ratio, Fibre suppleness, Fibre rigidity
The fibre characteristics of Delonix regia, a fast and deciduous tropical tree with form like leaves that is considered one of the most beautiful trees in the world was evaluated to assess its potential for pulp and paper making. Three trees of D. regia were used for the study, they were obtained at different locations within University of Ibadan main campus, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. Samples were collected at base (10%), middle (50%) and top (90%) portion of the merchantable height. At each sampling height, strips of 2.5cm were removed from the centre of the discs and divided into 3 zones namely: corewood, middlewood and outerwood based on the relative distance from the pith. Slivers were obtained from each of the zones and macerated in equal volume of glacial aceticacid and 30% hydrogen peroxide at 80oC in an oven. Data were subjected to statistical analysis of 3×3×3 factorial experiment in a completely randomized design (CRD) and Mean±SEM. However, a follow-up test was carried out using the least significant difference test (LSD) at 5% level of probability. A total of twenty whole fibres were measured in swollen conditions with a calibrated eye piece microscope from each sampling zone for fibre characteristics evaluation viz: fibre length (FL), fibre diameter (FD), lumen width (LW), cell wall thickness (WT), runkel ratio (RR), Coefficient of rigidity (CR), Slenderness ratio (SR), Flexibility ratio (FR), F-factor (FF) and solid factor (SF). The results obtained show that Delonix regia has the following mean value: FL (1.34mm), FD (39.42µM), LW (26.83µM), WT (6.49µM), RR (0.55%), CR (16.95%), SR (36.03%), FR (68.45%), FF (236.33) and SL (1390408.51). Based on the derived value such as the Runkel ratio of 0.55 which is less than 1 compared favourably with other known species for pulp and paper making. The values indicate the suitability of the specie for pulp and paper production in a place where there is shortage of wood material for this purpose.
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