Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 913–921 | Cite as

Development of a biotechnological process for the production of high quality linen fibers

  • Ana Gabriela Valladares Juárez
  • Gernot Rost
  • Uwe Heitmann
  • Egon Heger
  • Rudolf Müller
Original Paper


A novel biotechnological process for the production of high-quality flax fibers was developed. In this process, decorticated fibers from green flax were washed with 0.5% soda solution and treated with the pectinolytic strain Geobacillus thermoglucosidasius PB94A. Before drying the fibers, they were treated with the textile softener Adulcinol BUN. If the fibers contained contaminant shives, a bleaching step with hydrogen peroxide was performed before the softener treatment. In experiments where fibers were treated by the new process, and in which the bacterial solutions were reused seven times, the fiber quality was similar in all batches. The resolution of the treated fibers was 2.7 ± 0.4 and the fineness was 11.1 ± 1.1 dtex, while the starting material had a resolution of 7.3 and a fineness of 37 dtex. The new biotechnological treatment eliminates the weather-associated risks of the traditional fiber retting completely and produces consistently high-quality fibers that can be used to produce fine linen yarns.


Flax Retting Pectinases Geobacillus thermoglucosidasius Alkaliphilic Textiles 



The financial support of the project by the Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V. (FKZ 22006303) is gratefully appreciated. The authors thank the company Zschimmer & Schwarz for kindly providing the Adulcinol BUN.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Gabriela Valladares Juárez
    • 1
  • Gernot Rost
    • 2
  • Uwe Heitmann
    • 2
  • Egon Heger
    • 3
  • Rudolf Müller
    • 1
  1. 1.Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg, Institut für Technische BiokatalyseHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Textil- und Verfahrenstechnik (ITV)DenkendorfGermany
  3. 3.Holstein Flachs, Alte ZiegeleiMielsdorfGermany

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