Evaluation of Papermaking Potentials of Three Plant Taxa from the Euphorbiaceae in Nigeria
The fibre morphometrics are of great significance due to their strong correlation with the strength properties of wood and paper. The fibre characteristics of Bridelia ferruginea, Hura crepitans and Ricinodendron heudelotii were investigated to determine their pulp and papermaking potentials. Ten wood samples were collected randomly from their natural regions of provenance namely: Obudu (Tropical Rainforest), Nsukka (Derived Savanana) and Suleja (Guinea Savanna), along the merchantable length of each felled taxon, representing three ecological zones in Nigeria. The dimensions measured were the fibre length, fibre diameter, lumen diameter and cell wall thickness while the coefficient of flexibility, Runkel ratio and slenderness ratio were derived from the measured fibre dimensions. The fibre lengths showed no significant difference (p > 0.05). The mean values of Runkel ratio ranged from 0. 183 in B. ferruginea to 5.271 in R. heudelotii among the taxa. The mean values of fibre length, cell wall thickness, coefficient of flexibility and Runkel ratio revealed that H. crepitans and R. heudelotii are potential sources of fibrous raw materials for paper-making.