Main Article Content
Inadequate information on the binding characteristics of kenaf biomass at the molecular level has adversely affected the modifications of its cellulose-hemicellulose-lignin structure. This study was undertaken to assess the characteristic features and chemo-mechanical properties of kenaf fibres retted under three different media namely: tank, stream and ribbon. Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) spectra analysis as well as the ASTM standard for tensile tests were applied. The results showed that the broad bands occurred at the range of 3312- 3420 cm−1 for all the retted fibres were due to the presence of hydroxyl (–OH) group while the peaks were obtained at 1635.76, 1635.34, and 1730.69 cm−1 for stream, tank and ribbon retted fibres respectively. However, tank retted fibres had the most broad band intensity at 3419.78cm-1 while ribbon fibres had the highest absorption peak of 1730.69cm-1 corresponding to C=O stretching of the acetyl group in hemi-cellulose. Stream retted Kenaf fibres had the highest tensile strength followed by the tank retted fibres while ribbon fibres had the least. Furthermore, there was no significant difference between stream and tank retted Kenaf fibres in terms of tensile modulus and this was significantly higher than that of ribbon fibre. The α-cellulose content of stream retted fibres was slightly higher than that of ribbon fibres while tank retted fibres had the least. From the results, tank retted Kenaf fibre was ranked as ‘the best fibre’ with the most intensive broad bands and least in lignin and hemi-cellulose content which were regarded as the impurities, gummy and waxy materials, responsible for an easy deformation of the fibre cellular networks.