Pulping and Paper Making Potentials of Stem of Tithonia Diversifolia (Published)
The stems of matured Tithonia diversifolia were harvested from their natural habitat along the sides of roads where it is often considered as weeds. Samples of the stem were prepared for maceration and thereafter, the fibers obtained were observed with the aid of the microscope and measurements of their morphological and anatomical features were carried out in micrometers using the system consisting of Leica DMLS microscope and a camera. A total of 800 fibers were measured to enhance accuracy of results. The data obtained were used to derive the Runkel ratio, flexibility coefficient and slenderness ratio/felting power of the fibers which were 0.85 ± 0.21, 54.75 ± 5.96 and 46.86 ± 10.09 respectively. Based on the results obtained, it was suggested that the matured stem of Tithonia diversifolia be henceforth harnessed as alternative source of raw material for pulp and paper production in consisting of fibres with Runkel ratio of less than 1, flexibility coefficient of 54.75 ± 5.96 which made it to be classified among the group of elastic fibers and slenderness ratio/felting power of more than 33. Consequently, it was further suggested that controlled and large scale cultivation of the plant be encouraged to meet the demand of the pulp and paper making industry. The results obtained in the present study were discussed alongside with the reports and assertions of previous researchers within the same context.
Keywords: Fibers, Flexibility Coefficient, Paper Making, Pulp, Runkel Ratio, Slenderness Ratio/Felting Power, Stem