Special Issue "Plant Fibers II"

A special issue of Fibers (ISSN 2079-6439).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Carlo Santulli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Sciences and Technologies, Università di Camerino, via Gentile III da Varano 7, 62032 Camerino, Italy
Interests: polymer characterization; biocomposites; natural fibers; waste upcycling
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant fibers are widely available from many species, and their taxonomy is continuously being extended, to spontaneous and not only cropped species, even, in some cases, arising from different parts of the same plant, such as leaves, fruits, and stems. Their increasing profile and extent of application in composites, both polymer-based and, recently, also ceramic-based, and nanocomposites is currently linked to a number of issues and developments of significant interest in the field of sustainability. This is related, in particular, to the possibility of using agro-industrial waste to extract fibers and the need to replace materials with less favorable ends of life, such as fiberglass. In the latter case, the prospected use of biopolymers as the matrix for the introduction of plant fibers would extend the potential of these materials.

To qualify plant fibers for use in composites and nanocomposites, it is essential to characterize them (mechanically, thermally, chemically, etc.) and, once they are inserted in the composite, to be able to compare their properties with those of competing (e.g., synthetic) materials. In addition, research is also focusing on studies comparing their respective carbon footprints, for example, as concerns life cycle analysis (LCA).


This issue therefore concerns, but is not limited to:

  • Studies on ligno-cellulosic fibers (from stems, leaves, fruits and seed hairs);
  • Studies of the extraction of lignin, cellulose or nanocellulose/nanolignin from plant fibers and relevant by-products (e.g., husk);
  • Studies on plant fiber composites and hybrids (including different plant fibers or plant and other fibers);
  • Studies on plant fibers from agro-industrial waste;
  • Studies on the use of industrial and expressly synthesized biopolymers in plant fiber composites;
  • Reviews on different plant fibers and plant fiber composites with different matrices.


Prof. Dr. Carlo Santulli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fibers is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Production of plant fiber composites
  • Fiber treatment
  • Mechanical properties of plant fiber composites
  • Impact properties of plant fiber composites
  • Use of fibers from agro-waste
  • Fiber extraction
  • Thermal characterization of plant fibers.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Effect of Alkali Treatment on the Properties of Acacia Caesia Bark Fibres
Fibers 2021, 9(8), 49; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9080049 - 02 Aug 2021
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As possible substitutes for non-biodegradable synthetic fibre, ligno-cellulosic fibres have attracted much interest for their eco-friendliness; a large number of them are already used for the production of green polymer composites. The search for further green candidates brings into focus other fibres not [...] Read more.
As possible substitutes for non-biodegradable synthetic fibre, ligno-cellulosic fibres have attracted much interest for their eco-friendliness; a large number of them are already used for the production of green polymer composites. The search for further green candidates brings into focus other fibres not previously considered, yet part of other production systems, therefore available as by-products or refuse. The purpose of this study is to explore the potential of alkali treatment with 5% sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to enhance the properties of bark-extracted Acacia Caesia Bark (ACB) fibres. The microscopic structure of the treated fibres was elucidated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Moreover, the fibres were characterised in terms of chemical composition and density and subjected to single-fibre tensile tests (SFTT). Following their physico-chemical characterisation, fibre samples underwent thermal characterisation by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and their crystallinity was assessed using X-ray diffraction (XRD). This level of alkali treatment only marginally modified the structure of the fibres and offered some improvement in their tensile strength. This suggested that they compare well with other bark fibres and that their thermal profile showed some increase of degradation onset temperature with respect to untreated ACB fibres. Their crystallinity would allow their application in the form of fibres with an average length of approximately 150 mm, even in thermoplastic biocomposites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Fibers II)
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