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Sweet Clovers, a Source of Fibers Adapted for Growth on Wet and Saline Soils

Rigal, Matthieu and Rigal, Luc and Vilarem, Gérard and Vandenbossche Maréchal, Virginie Sweet Clovers, a Source of Fibers Adapted for Growth on Wet and Saline Soils. (2016) Journal of Natural Fibers, 13 (4). 410-422. ISSN 1544-0478

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/15440478.2015.1029202

Abstract

Sweet clovers are legumes able to grow on most soils, and two sweet clover species, Melilotus albus and Melilotus officinalis have been introduced and are now cultivated on estuary land. We characterized the composition and morphology of sweet clover stems collected after the seeds had reached maturity. We also carried out histochemical analyses on transverse sections. The two species had similar morphological structures, which two fiber fractions: flexible long fibers and stiff, dense shives, accounting for about 12% and 88% of stem dry matter, respectively. Histological analysis revealed the presence of bundles of highly cellulosic bast fibers (lignocellulosic material: 71–78% of dry matter). The shives are a natural mesoporous material composed of 85–90% lignocellulosic fibers. Both fiber fractions displayed good thermal resistance to temperatures up to 225°C and a moderate affinity for water. These two types of fibers are similar to those of flax and hemp, suggesting their possible use for the same types of applications. Sweet clovers therefore constitute a new source of fibers that can be cultivated on wet and saline soils not otherwise suitable for agriculture.

Item Type:Article
HAL Id:hal-02439911
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
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Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA (FRANCE)
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Deposited On:14 Jan 2020 17:40

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