Degumming process of flax at industrial pilot scale

  • Mihaela Dochia RDI Institute in Natural and Technical Sciences of “Aurel Vlaicu” University Arad- Romania
  • Cecilia Sîrghie Institute of Technical and Natural Sciences Research-Development of Aurel Vlaicu University
  • Lucian Copolovici Institute of Technical and Natural Sciences Research-Development of Aurel Vlaicu University,


The enzymatic/ultrasounds degumming of flax fibers becomes an important alternative
to conventional procedures. The present study shows the benefits of the ultrasounds in laccase
degumming process at pilot scale. A pilot experiment using 1 % laccase and less than 30
minutes ultrasounds was performed, and high-quality degummed flax fibers were produced
from flax tows using processes which have not been exploited commercially. We tested the
influence of the ultrasounds/laccase system on the physical-mechanical and chemical
properties of the flax fibers. The properties of the fibers are compared with those of the cotton
fibers. Those properties allow us to obtain fine blend yarns (Tex 25) when the flax percentage
is 50 %.


Akin, D.E., Foulk, J.A., Dodd, R.B., McAlister, D.D., 2001. Enzyme-retting of flax and

characterization of processed fibers. Journal of Biotechnology 89, 193-203.

Akin, D.E., Morrison, W.H., Gamble, G.R., Rigsby, L.L., Henriksson, G., Eriksson, K.E.L.,

Effect of retting enzymes on the structure and composition of flax cell walls. Textile

Research Journal 67, 279-287.

Alix, S., Lebrun, L., Marais, S., Philippe, E., Bourmaud, A., Baley, C., Morvan, C., 2012.

Pectinase treatments on technical fibres of flax: Effects on water sorption and mechanical

properties. Carbohydrate Polymers 87, 177-185.

Aydin, M., Tozlu, H., Kemaloglu, S., Aytac, A., Ozkoc, G., 2012. Effects of alkali treatment

on the properties of short flax fiber-poly(lactic acid) eco-composites. Journal of Polymers and

the Environment 19, 11-17.

Baley, C., 2002. Analysis of the flax fibres tensile behaviour and analysis of the tensile

stiffness increase. Composit. Part. A-Appl. S. 33, 939-948.

Bao, W., Omalley, D.M., Whetten, R., Sederoff, R.R., 1993. A laccase associated with

lignification in loblolly-pine xylem. Science 260, 672-674.

Basto, C., Tzanov, T., Cavaco-Paulo, A., 2007. Combined ultrasound-laccase assisted

bleaching of cotton. Ultrasonics Sonochemistry 14, 350-354.

Batog, J., Kozlowski, R., Przepiera, A., 2008. Lignocellulosic composites bonded by

enzymatic oxidation of lignin. Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals 484, 401-408.

Bismarck, A., Aranberri-Askargorta, I., Springer, J., Lampke, T., Wielage, B., Stamboulis, A.,

Shenderovich, I., Limbach, H.H., 2002. Surface characterization of flax, hemp and cellulose

fibers; Surface properties and the water uptake behavior. Polym. Composites 23, 872-894.

Couto, S.R., Herrera, J.L.T., 2006. Industrial and biotechnological applications of laccases: A

review. Biotechnology Advances 24, 500-513.

Fu, J., Li, X., Gao, W., Wang, H., Cavaco-Paulo, A., Silva, C., 2012. Bio-processing of

bamboo fibres for textile applications: a mini review. Biocatal Biotransfor. 30, 141-153.

Hu, W., Ton-That, M.T., Perrin-Sarazin, F., Denault, J., 2010. An improved method for single

fiber tensile test of natural fibers. Polymer Engineering and Science 50, 819-825.

Karaca, B., Bozaci, E., Demir, A., Ozdogan, E., Seventekin, N., 2012. Effects of enzymatic

treatments on surface morphology and chemical structure of linen fabrics. Journal of Applied

Polymer Science 125, 793-797.

Kessler, R.W., Becker, U., Kohler, R., Goth, B., 1998. Steam explosion of flax - A superior

technique for upgrading fibre value. Biomass & Bioenergy 14, 237-249.

Ko, C.H., Tsai, C.H., Tu, J., Tang, S.H., Liu, C.C., 2011. Expression and thermostability of

Paenibacillus campinasensis BL11 pectate lyase and its applications in bast fibre processing.

Annals of Applied Biology 158, 218-225.

Kozlowski, R., Batog, J., Konczewicz, W., Mackiewicz-Talarczyk, M., Muzyczek, M.,

Sedelnik, N., Tanska, B., 2006. Enzymes in bast fibrous plant processing. Biotechnology

Letters 28, 761-765.

Kozlowski, R.M., Mackiewicz-Talarczyk, M., Allam, A.M., 2012. Bast fibres: flax,

Handbook of Natural Fibres, Vol 1: Types, Properties and Factors Affecting Breeding and

Cultivation, pp. 56-113.

Moholkar, V.S., Warmoeskerken, M., 2004. Investigations in mass transfer enhancement in

textiles with ultrasound. Chemical Engineering Science 59, 299-311.

Moholkar, V.S., Warmoeskerken, M., Ohl, C.D., Prosperetti, A., 2004. Mechanism of masstransfer

enhancement in textiles by ultrasound. AIChE Journal 50, 58-64.

Ranganathan, K., Jeyapaul, S., Sharma, D.C., 2007. Assessment of water pollution in

different bleaching based paper manufacturing and textile dyeing industries in India.

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 134, 363-372.

Sgriccia, N., Hawley, M.C., 2007. Thermal, morphological, and electrical characterization of

microwave processed natural fiber composites. Composites Science and Technology 67,


Sirghie, C., Istoc, I., Copolovici, L., The influence of ultrsound field on laccase degumming

process. Croatica Chemica Acta, submmited.

Sirghie, C., Van Langenhove, L., Bucur, M.S., Papaghiuc, V., 2008. Comparative study on

three ultrasound cottonizing methods used for increasing the cottonized flax percentage in the

flax-cotton blended yarns. Ind. Textila 59, 154-161.

Stanescu, M.D., Dochia, M., Radu, D., Sirghie, C., 2010. Green solution for cotton scouring.

Fibres Text. East Eur. 18, 109-111.

Tauber, M.M., Guebitz, G.M., Rehorek, A., 2008. Degradation of azo dyes by oxidative

processes - Laccase and ultrasound treatment. Bioresource Technol. 99, 4213-4220.

Yachmenev, V.G., Bertoniere, N.R., Blanchard, E.J., 2002. Intensification of the bioprocessing

of cotton textiles by combined enzyme/ultrasound treatment. J. Chem. Technol.

Biot. 77, 559-567.

Yachmenev, V.G., Blanchard, E.J., Lambert, A.H., 2004. Use of ultrasonic energy for

intensification of the bio-preparation of greige cotton. Ultrasonics 42, 87-91.

Yachmenev, V.G., Condon, B.D., Lambert, A.H., 2007. Intensification of Enzymatic

Reactions in Heterogeneous Systems by Low Intensity, Uniform Sonication: New Road to

"Green Chemistry", Industrial Application of Enzymes on Carbohydrate-Based Material, pp.