- Open Access
Dyeing and thermal behavior of jute fibre grafted with nitrile monomer
© Mondal and Islam. 2015
- Received: 26 May 2015
- Accepted: 28 July 2015
- Published: 25 August 2015
Modification of bleached jute fibre was carried out by graft co-polymerization with the vinyl monomers, acrylonitrile and methacrylonitrile. A K2S2O8/FeSO4 redox system was used in the presence of air. The graft yield and grafting efficiency increased with the increase of monomer, initiator and reaction time up to certain values, thereafter it decreased. This is due to the increasing rate of homopolymerization, rather than grafting, at the higher monomer concentration. The maximum graft yield with acrylonitrile and methacrylonitrile, under optimized conditions, was 19.78 and 43.15%, respectively. The graft yield of methacrylonitrile is greater than that of acrylonitrile. This is due to the –CH3 group present in methacrylonitrile. The inclusion of nitrile monomer onto the treated fibre was identified by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. The surface morphology and thermal behavior of the modified fibre was investigated by Scanning Electron Microscopy and Thermogravimetric Analysis. Modification of jute fibre improved the thermal stability, breaking strength as well as dyeability of the fiber.
- Nitrile monomer
- Thermal stability
Jute fibre is the most important cash crop and the biggest foreign exchange earner of Bangladesh. It is composed of 60–70% α-cellulose, 15–20% hemicelluloses, 5–10% lignin and 3–5% pectins, together with some fatty acid and waxy matter (Alam and Khan 2007). In recent years, it has been threatened by increasing competition from cheap synthetic fibres. Due to environmental issues, many ecofriendly alternative fibres and chemical modifications have been considered by researchers (Mishra et al. 2001; Gonaslves and Mungara 1996). So it is necessary to improve the quality of jute fibre for commercial utilization, to meet total fabric requirements of the importing countries as well as to minimize the import of competing synthetic fibres.
Various chemical treatments have been used to improve the physico-chemical performance of natural fibres in the past (Ouajai et al. 2007; Mohanty et al. 2000; Dong et al. 2015). Although a lot of work has been reported on graft co-polymerization of vinyl monomers onto cellulosic and other textile fibre (Mondal 2013; Bakr et al. 2015), much less has been reported on grafting of nitrile monomers onto jute fibre. Yet jute is an important lignocellulose fibre.
Depending on the chemical structure of the monomer grafted onto cellulose, graft copolymer gain new properties such as improved elasticity, hydrophobic character (Bicak et al. 1999; Okieimen 1987), heat resistance (Samal et al. 1988; Misra et al. 1987; Huque et al. 1980), resistance to microbial attack (Mcdowall et al. 1984), abrasion resistance (Bianchi et al. 2000). Grafting also changes the mechanical properties of grafted polymer varied with the amount of grafting (Ouajai et al. 2004; Fatimah et al. 2014; El-Shekeil et al. 2014) and the grafting led little degradation effect on mechanical properties. Hence, it is expected that the properties of this fibre on modification by grafting, can be improved for use in the manufacture of high-quality products.
Therefore chemical modification, through graft co-polymerization, of nitrile monomer on to jute fibres, has been receiving considerable interest in recent years. The grafting was determined on the basis of the increased weight of the fibre treated. In the present work, attempts have been made to modify the jute fibre with acrylonitrile (AN) and methacrylonitrile (MAN) monomers, initiated under a potassium persulphate (K2S2O8) and ferrous sulphate (FeSO4) redox system. The study attempted to determine the optimum grafting conditions for such modification. Some physico-chemical characteristics of the grafted fibre were investigated.
Raw jute fibre (Corchorus olitorius, Tossa Variety) was collected from Rajshahi Jute Mill Ltd., Bangladesh. Glacial acetic acid, anhydrous sodium acetate, sodium chlorite, acrylonitrile, methacrylonitrile, potassium persulphate, ferrous sulphate and the dyestuffs were purchased from BDH, England.
The collected jute fibre were carefully combed, blended and washed with 6.5 g of detergent and 3.5 g of soda per litre at 75°C for 30 min (Farouqui and Mondal 1989). The jute fibre was bleached, with a sodium chlorite solution of concentration 0.5%, at pH 4 and at 80–90°C, for 90 min (Farouqui and Mondal 1989). Then the bleached jute fibre was grafted with acrylonitrile and methacrylonitrile monomers.
Method of grafting
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) spectroscopy analysis was performed, using a Perkin Elmer 100 infrared spectrometer. The fibres and KBr (potassium bromide) were dried in an oven at 105°C, until they were moisture-free. Then about one percent fibre was mixed with dried KBr, ground into powder, using a mortar pestle (Mondal 2013). The infrared spectra of the samples were recorded with FTIR between 400 and 4,000 cm−1.
Thermogravimetric analysis was used to characterize the thermal decomposition rate and the thermal stability of the raw and grafted fibre. The samples, approximately 10 mg each, were heated from 30 to 600°C. Heating was done in an inert atmosphere (argon), at a rate of 20°C/min, in a Seiko-extar-TG/DTA-6300, Tokyo, Japan.
Scanning electron microscopy
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was performed. An SEM (FEI Quanta Inspect, Model: S50, Kyoto, Japan was used to observe the surface microstructure of the treated and untreated fibres.
Method of dyeing
Dyeing of bleached and modified jute fibres was carried out with direct and reactive dyes. The dye concentration of reactive and direct dyes were 3 and 1%, and the electrolyte concentration for the dyes were 7 and 25% respectively.
Tensile strength measurement
Method of sunlight exposure
The jute sample was exposed directly, on a flat board, to sunlight, without any protection from weathering but was protected from rain, snow etc. At the same time and in the same place, bleached and grafted jute fibres were exposed to sun on the roof of a building in the months of April to July for 7 h each day. This continued for a total of 350 h.
Method of heating
Jute sample was placed in an electric oven, in the presence of air, at 30–160°C for 3 h. Its breaking strength was then measured as described above.
Optimization of graft copolymerization
Again, at longer reaction times, the graft yield decreased. This could be due to the partial dissolution of the grafted fibre (Hebeish and Mehata 1968). The optimum polymerization time was 90 min for both AN and MAN, while the corresponding graft yields were 19.78 and 43.15% respectively.
The decrease in grafting efficiency and graft yield, beyond optimum temperature, may be attributed to the increase in activation energy for graft copolymerization. As discussed above, premature termination of growing grafted chains by excess Fe(III) ions, produced on the oxidation of Fe(II) ions, can also be a factor,
Dyeing behavior of the grafted jute fibre
Effect of dye absorption on dyeing of bleached and modified (AN and MAN) jute fibres
Name of dye
Dye exhaustion, %
Reactive Orange 14
Reactive Brown 10
Direct Orange 31
Direct Blue 1
FTIR spectra of grafted jute fibre
Determination of moisture content
The moisture content of bleached fibre is 7.3% and that of modified fibre with AN and MAN fibres are 2.84 and 4.01%, at 105°C, respectively. These were measured by a moisture analyzer (Model: R.A 120-3, Kern, Germany).
Determination of breaking strength of the bleached and modified jute fibres
Breaking strength of bleached and modified fibres
Breaking load (kg/Yarn)
16.02 ± 0.42
17.5 ± 0.39
19.20 ± 0.56
In the present work, we have presented the graft copolymerization of nitrile monomers on to bleached jute fibre was carried out in the presence of a redox system, in an aqueous medium. The effect of the graft yield of the nitrile monomers on the jute fibre depends on the parameter variables and on the jute fibre as well. The chemical attachment between the nitrile monomer and hydroxyl group of cotton fibres was evaluated by FTIR. The grafted fibre showed improved physicochemical properties like tensile strength, moisture absorption and thermal stability. Thus a new type of jute fibre was obtained through graft polymerization. Such a process can make jute more suitable, as an input, in the manufacture of garments, home textiles etc.
IHM designed the paper, performed the literature survey and completed the paper. KI performed the experiments and analyzed the data in consultation with IHM. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The authors would like to acknowledge the Ministry of Education in Bangladesh for funding the project as Higher Education Research Grant in 2014 (Memo no.: 37.01.0000.078.02.018.13-206(38)/6-35, 2014).
Compliance with ethical guidelines
Competing interests The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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