Taxonomic, physical and morphological characterization of four species of agave with potential for the production of cellulose fibers from the leaves


  • Francisco Prieto García
  • Judith Prieto Méndez
  • Edith Jiménez Muñóz
  • Otilo Arturo Acevedo Sandoval
  • Rodrigo Rodríguez Laguna



A. salmiana, A. lechuguilla, Cellulose, A. angustifolia, Particle size


The aim of the study was to characterize taxonomic, physical, and morphologically distinct species agaváceas tequila, mezcal and pulque grown in different regions of Mexico. Four species were evaluated Agave lechuguilla Torr., Agave salmiana B. Otto ex Salm-Dick, both from the state of Hidalgo; Agave angustifolia Haw. From the state of Oaxaca and Agave tequilana Weber, Var. Azul, Jalisco. The work was divided into two phases: botanical phase and physical study. In the botanical phase classification and taxonomic characterization of phenological, ecological and ethnobotanical database was revised. In the physical phase size and leaf characteristics of the plant is characterized. We analyzed moisture, fiber granulometry and scanning electron microscopy to assess fiber morphologies. From the results of physical characterization and fiber lengths found, we concluded that there is high potential to produce cellulose pulp. The species A. angustifolia and A. tequilana were presented minor percentage of sizes <0.5 mm that could affect an alkaline pulping process. For the species A. tequilana 98.5% fibers <1 mm being the majority corresponding to the fraction 0.5-1.0 mm (84.3%) which corresponds to a size suitable for cellulosic pulp paper making was obtained. The species A. angustifolia showed 85.06% fibers <1 mm fraction between 0.5-1.0 mm majority (65.2%).