Oriental Papermaking Fibres

Sugar Cane/Bagasse

Common Name Sugar Cane/Bagasse Japanese Name Satokibi
Scientific Name Gramineae Saccharum officinarum L.
Fibre Length Average 1.7mm (0.8-2.8mm) Fibre Width Average 20μm (10-34μm)
Fibre Ends Pointed Cross-Marking Strong
Associated Cells Large Pitted vessel elements and Paranchyma cells
Herzberg Colour Blue Graff 'C' Colour Blue


An agricultural by-product of sugar production, Bargasse is the fibre remnants of the cane after it has been crushed to extract the sugary juice. Often it is burned as fuel in the sugar mills to provide steam and electricity. As well as this it is also used as mulch and animal feedstock. Since bargasse has a high content of parenchyma cells that need to be extracted before processing depithing must take place. Depithing will also remove much of the epidermal and silica cells. Bargasse is used in paper production in India, particularly the TNPL plant in Tamil Nadu, as well as in China, Indonesia and South America.

Bargasse fibres are thick walled, of varying width and end in blunt ends. Also present are pitted, thin walled, pointed fibres, and short, blunt ended fibres. Pitted vessel elements are also present and resemble those of bamboo. Parenchyma cells are large, sack-like, thin walled and vary in shape from barrel-like, round, or rod-like. Epidermal cells are sometimes present and are comparatively small.    

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