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Sisal Plant UPSC NOTE

 Why in News

  • A Stanford team, led by Manu Prakash, has found that an absorbent material can be produced using sisal leaves, and could replace cotton, wood pulp, and chemical absorbents in sanitary napkins. 

  • The team has also reported a way to obtain this material without using any polluting chemicals.

  • The ancient Aztec and Mayan civilisations were perhaps the first to begin making paper out of sisal leaves. 

  • Since then, the stiff, green sword-like leaves have been used to make twine, cloth, and carpets. The plant itself is also used to make mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage.

  • Agave sisalana, commonly known as the sisal plant, is a species of flowering plant native to southern Mexico.

  • Its widely cultivated and naturalized in many other countries.

  • It yields a stiff fiber used in making rope and various other products.

  • It is a succulent plant with a rosette of sword-shaped leaves that can grow up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) long. 

  • The leaves are typically green or gray-green, with sharp spines along the edges.

  • Sisal plants thrive in hot, dry climates and well-drained soils

  • They are often found in tropical and subtropical regions.

  •  Sisal plants can be propagated by seeds or by suckers, which are small offsets that grow at the base of the plant.

  •  The main use of sisal is for the production of fiber

  • Sisal fiber is strong, durable, and weather-resistant, making it ideal for a variety of applications.


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