6. Presentation of the 30 project ideas in template

6.19. Extractives from waste plant materials for high-added value fibrous products



Title of the project


Extractives from waste plant materials for high-added value fibrous products

Envisaged Program for funding / other sources for funding


Bilateral or other research projects.



Domain of interest

Surface modification, Extractives, Advanced fibrous products



(up to 500 words)

Ecological and environmental aspects make all scientists look for eco-friendlier methods for all processes. In the view of this, textile finishing should be also managed with more ecologic processes.


The background behind the proposed research idea is to functionalize different fibrous materials by waste plant extractives:

-          using secondary and raw-materials, and reusing the waste,

-          using technologies for sustainable biomass transformation and new bio-based materials,

-          using eco-friendlier approach from the plant extraction to application,

-          determining biodegradability/toxicity of final materials.


Natural compounds derived from different parts of waste agricultural products and wood-based materials (e.g. hemicellulose, lignin, selected extractives) using environmentally-friendly approaches are believed to be ecologically-friendly with less negative effects on the organism, on account of their low toxicity and non-carcinogenic nature. Moreover, they are biodegradable and thus, do not cause pollution and wastewater problems.


Plant extractives represent non-cell wall constituents of the wood and usually represent a minor fraction in wood (1-5%). Although there are similarities in the occurrence of plant extractives within families, there are distinct differences in the composition even between closely related plant species. Furthermore, various parts of the same plant, e.g. stem, branches, roots, bark and needles, differ markedly with respect to their amount as well as composition of extractives.

Plants can manufacture many different types of secondary metabolites i.e. tannins, flavonoids, stilbenes, phenolic acids, lignans, terpenoids, alkaloids, etc., which have been subsequently exploited by humans for their beneficial role in a diverse array of applications. Moreover, they have specific biological antiviral, antitumor, biocidal and bioactive activities, antioxidant activity, UV blocking ability and chromatic feature.


The main research idea is:

i)      to extract numerous compounds from various raw plant materials using environmentally-friendly approach,

ii)    to select and pre-treat fibrous materials using plasma, ultrasound,  UV with an aim of etching, modification, activation, functionalization and polymerization of fibrous surfaces,

iii)   to apply/incorporate extractives onto/into fibrous material according to novel techniques (ink-jet printing, dip coating, spin coating, spray drying, electrospinning in order to obtain advanced functionalities regarding the usage purposes.


Possible fields of applications: advanced functional textiles, unique naturally-dyed knitted and embroidered products, pH sensing materials, wound dressings, etc.


Keywords (up to 5)

Bio(colouring) compounds, Colouration, Multifunctional properties, Sustainable procedure and  fibrous materials

Envisaged partners sought


Research institutes, Universities, Companies producing chemicals and textiles, Paper industry, Cosmetic, etc.


Contact data

(Name/Surname, Organization, email)

Alenka Ojstršek, Darinka Fakin

University of Maribor, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Engineering Materials and Design, Slovenia

Email: alenka.ojstrsek@um.si