The alkaline treatment or mercerization is a chemical treatment in which the natural fibers are immersed in a known concentration of aqueous sodium hydroxide (NaOH) for a given temperature and a period of time. The alkaline treatment modifies the surface of fibers by removing a certain rate of lignin, hemicellulose, wax, and oils covering the external surface of natural fibers.
Ouarhim W, Zari N, Bouhfid R. Mechanical performance of natural fibers–based thermosetting composites. In Mechanical and Physical Testing of Biocomposites, Fibre-Reinforced Composites and Hybrid Composites 2019 Jan 1 (pp. 43-60). Woodhead Publishing.