Fungal dry retting — An ecofriendly and water saving technology for retting of jute
Ecofriendly and water saving retting technology of jute has been developed, using pectinolytic fungi by dry fermentation procedure to overcome the shortcomings of conventional retting of jute. Four pectinolytic fungi have been used for these fungal dry retting of jute, viz. Aspergillus tamarii, A. flavus, A. niger and Sporotrichum thermophile. This fungal dry retting is found to be an aerobic process unlike conventional water retting, and hence is environment pollution free, faster, water saving and able to produce good quality jute fibre with strong and unbroken full length jute stick as desired by the jute farmers. In field trial, the average fibre strength is 27.7 g tex-1, fibre fineness 2.8 tex and fibre grade between TD-4 and TD-5. These fungi have no adverse effect on the succeeding crop rice. Eight pound regular yarn is prepared from these fibres having normal textile properties. It is expected that this new concept of waterless retting technique by pectinolytic fungi may solve the present water crisis for retting of jute and other allied bast fibres.
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