The project outlines a new simple machine for extraction of pineapple leaf fiber (PALF) which is economically viable and remunerative for the pineapple cultivators and entrepreneurs. This simple extraction machine is based on a semi-automatic process by which the upper waxy layer of pineapple leaf is removed very easily and it is cheaper than existing decorticator machine.
Pineapple leaf fiber is a high textile grade commercial fiber. It is generally extracted by manual extraction and mechanical extraction by decorticator machine. The process of extracting long vegetable fibers is of great importance since the quality as well as the quantity of extracted fibers is strongly influenced by the method of extraction employed. Manual extraction process of pineapple leaf fiber is time consuming and laborious. On the other hand the automatic decorticator machine is costly and it need skilled operator. So this paper aims to design and develop a new method in extraction of PALF by which the pineapple farmer can easily extract the PALF and the quality and quantity fiber is ensured.
1.1 Manual extraction using ceramic
Fibers of the leaf are scraped by means of a ceramic plate or coconut shell. A fast and skilled scraper can extract fiber from over 500 leaves per day after which the fibers are washed and dried in open air. In this process a lot of fiber is lost and the entire process is also very laborious. After drying, the fibers are waxed to remove the entanglement and the fibers are knotted. During the knotting process, each fiber is extracted singly from the bunch and knotted end to end to form a long continuous strand. The fiber is then sent for warping and weaving.
1.2 Mechanical Extraction
The conventional decorticator machine is shown in figure 2 such as the machine has three rollers-
- Feed roller
- Leaf scratching roller and
- Serrated roller
The leaves were fed through the feed roller and then passed through the scratching roller. The upper surface of the leaves is first scratched by scratching roller blades to remove the waxy layer and then passed through the serrated roller where the closely fitted blades of the roller macerates the leaf and produces several breaks on the leaf surface for easy entry of the retting microbes.
2. Materials and methods:
The materials which are used to produce simple proto-type extraction machine was collected from the mechanical lab of National Institute of Textile and Research (NITER) in Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Pineapple leaves are collected from Modhupur, Tangail, Bangladesh and then the fibers are extracted from leaves by simple proto-type extraction machine.
Manual extraction process of pineapple leaf fiber is time consuming and laborious. On the other hand the automatic decorticator machine is costly and it need skilled operator. So a simple, cheap and easy method have been designed and developed to operate proto-type pineapple leaf extraction machine which is economically viable and remunerative for the poverty stricken people of Bangladesh.
3. Description of new machine
This simple proto-type extraction machine has six parts.
- Rotating Gear.
- Connecting Rod.
- Scraping ceramic plate
Rotating gear is connected with the base. The diameter of rotating gear is 8 inch. A handle and a connecting rod are attached with the rotating gear. When the handle is rotated, it also rotates the rotating gear and with the rotation of the rotating roller the connecting move forward and backward. A Ceramic plate scraper with 2kg load is attached with the connecting rod. With the forward and backward movement of the connecting rod ceramic plate scraper scrape the upper waxy layer of the pineapple fiber.
3.2 Simple proto-type extraction machine
The newly developed machine is very cheap to produce. It costs only 1000 BDT to develop.
It has following characteristics:
- Low cost and affordable even to poor farmer.
- A compact modular structure for easy operation.
- Operated manually but adaptable to power by adding motor of 120-240 rpm instead of handle.
4. Future scopes:
- Making the simple extraction machine more efficient and user friendly.
- Cost analysis.
- Develop Business plan to promote the simple extraction machine.
- Training the pineapple farmer
The newly developed machine can effectively be used to extract the pineapple fiber from the agro-waste of pineapple leaves. This machine will be very effective for our poverty stricken people as it is cheap and easy to operate in Bangladesh as poverty stricken country should come forward to join the movement of promotion of pineapple fiber based products since it has huge available raw materials as well unemployed population throughout the country.
- Shyamal Banika, Debasis Nag & Sanjoy Debnath Utilization of pineapple leaf agro-waste for extraction of fibre and the residual biomass for vermicomposting
- S. K. Dey & Dr. K. K. Satapathy,A Combined Technology Package for Extraction of Pineapple Leaf Fibre-An Agrowaste, Utilization of biomass and for application in Textiles.