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Assessment of Suitability of Wood Fibres of Four Nigerian Fruit Trees for Paper–Making

Wood fibres of four fruit trees of Nigeria commonly found in Nsukka metropolis were studied and assessed for their suitability for paper-making. These trees include Mangifera indica, Anacardium occidentale, Persea americana and Dacryodes edulis. The parameters used in the study were the fibre dimensions and derived fibre values. The mean values for fibre length of the species ranged from 0.89 ± 0.34 mm in Persea americana to 1.15 ± 0.38 mm in Dacryodes edulis; mean fibre lumen diameter of 0.009 ± 0.001 mm in Anacardium occidentale to 0.014 ± 0.06 mm in D. edulis; mean fibre diameter of 0.023 ± 0.005 mm in P. americana to 0.026 ± 0.005 mm in M indica; mean fibre cell wall thickness of 0.004 ± 0.002 mm in D. edulis and M. indica to 0.006 ± 0.002 mm in A. occidentale. For the derived fibre values, a mean Runkel ratio of 0.70 ± 0.03 in D. edulis to 1.35 ± .56 in A. occidentale. Coefficient of flexibility of 0.37 ± 0.08 in A. occidentale to 0.57 ± 0.17 in D. edulis and a slenderness ratio of 41.61 ± 20.31 in P. americana to 50.07 ± 14.79 in A. occidentale. Analysis of variance for the derived fibre values showed highly significant difference among the species. In consideration of the parameters – Runkel ratio and coefficient of flexibility, D. edulis seemed to have better paper making potentials than the other three.

Ajuziogu, G. C., Nzekwe, U. and Chukwuma, H. I. Department of Botany, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

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