Submitted to: International Engineering Management Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) is an annual fiber crop closely related to cotton and okra which has many favorable characteristics that can benefit and protect the environment. For the last 3000 years, kenaf has been used as a cordage crop to produce twine, rope, and sackcloth. Kenaf was first domesticated and used in north Africa. India has produced and used kenaf for the last 200 years, while Russia started producing kenaf in 1902 and introduced the crop to China in 1935. The United States started kenaf research and production during World War II to supply ropes for the war effort. Then in the mid-1950s it was determined that kenaf could be made into a large range of paper products and without using as much energy as standard wood sources. More recently business and public research efforts have developed additional uses for kenaf that protect and benefit the environment. A number of these newer uses protect the soil from wind and water erosion, while others are used to clean up chemical spills on water or in soils. Kenaf is also being incorporated into new environmental buildings materials.