'Hesperaloe Funifera' Germplasm and Fiber Qualities

Technology #ua15-175

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Ryan Williams
Undergraduate student
Damian Ravetta
Graduate Student
Susan Schuck
Research Technician
Howard Gentry
Heath Reeves
Joseph Hoffmann
Professor, Arid Lands Studies
Richard Detrick
Steven Mclaughlin
Professor Emeritus, Arid Lands Studies
Managed By
Tod Mccauley

Title: Hesperaloe fibers for specialty paper


This invention provides Hesperaloe germplasm to deriver plants that produce fibers with long, thin, and narrow cell walls, as well as insight into agronomic practices to establish efficient plantations with optimal biomass production.


In the specialty paper market, performance requirements both for existing and new applications are becoming increasingly demanding, especially as it relates to endurance, enhanced physical performance, and abrasive resistance. Coupled with consumer demands for more eco-friendly products, natural fibers are gaining greater attention and demand is growing for component materials that are durable, reliable, lightweight, and have good mechanical properties that are significantly better than those of traditional wood sources.


•       Virgin fiber source for the production of specialty papers, including tea bags, packaging, and filters

•       Composite materials

•       Biochemicals and/or biofuels


•       Specialty paper made with Hesperaloe fibers displayed exceptionally strong tear, tensile, and burst strength, with higher tensile and burst strength compared to abaca and sisal fibers

•       Non-wood plants such as Hesperaloe have been proven as an effective alternative to wood, paper and cellulose pulp imports for developing countries with scant forest resources while also adding value acquired by agrifood residues used for pulping

•       Hesperaloe production is low cost, low density, provides enhanced energy recovery, and CO2 neutrality

•       Hesperaloe fibers are biodegradable and recyclable

Related Publications:

•       Wong, A, and McLaughlin, S (1999). Papermaking pulp from Hesperaloe species, an arid-zone native plant from Nortern Mexico, Biomass: a Growth Opportunity in Gree Energy and Value-Added Products, Vols 1 and 2: 649-654.

Inventor: Steven McLaughlin

Licensing Manager:

Tod McCauley



Technology ID: UA15-175