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  • Native stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) growing spontaneously under short
    rotation coppice for phytomanagement of trace element contaminated soils:
    Fibre yield, processability and quality

Auteurs : Thomas Jeannina, Loïc Yungb, Philippe Evonc, Laurent Labonnec, Pierre Ouagned,
Michael Lecourte, David Cazauxf, Michel Chalotb, Vincent Placet

Résumé :

This work assesses the potential of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) growing on trace element contaminated soils
to produce fibres for material applications. The nettles studied in this work grew spontaneously and dominated
the vegetation cover in poplar short rotation coppices planted for the phytomanagement of lands contaminated
by trace elements. Two sites were studied, contaminated by Hg for the first one and a mix of As, Cd, Pb and Zn
for the second one. Results show that, for the considered soils, the contaminant contents in nettle bast fibres were
at low levels, comparable to those collected at unpolluted control areas. It makes it possible to consider this
biomass for material use. The measured matter yield was lower than those obtained with traditional fibre crops
cultivated in Europe on agricultural lands. However, the tensile properties of the bast fibres mechanically extracted
without field retting or prior alkaline treatment were equal to or better than those of industrial hemp and
flax, making spontaneous nettles an interesting supplement to traditional European fibre crops for material
applications.

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