The objective of this research was to evaluate the properties of the chemically retted kenaf bast fiber impregnated with the inorganic nanoparticles. High quality kenaf bast fibers were obtained from a chemical retting process. An in situ
inorganic nanoparticle impregnation (INI) process was used to introduce the CaCO3
nanoparticles into the retted kenaf bast fibers. It was found that some of the lignin-based components in the retted fibers were further removed during the INI treatment. From the characterization results, the inorganic nanoparticles CaCO3
, with different shapes and sizes, appeared at the surface of the impregnated fiber after treatment. Heterogeneous CaCO3
nanoparticle distribution was observed on the INI treated fibers. The CaCO3
contents were different at different locations along the impregnated fiber. The presence of CaCO3
inorganic nanoparticles at the fiber surface increased the root mean square (RMS) surface roughness by 5.8% and decreased the hydrophilic nature of the retted fibers, evidenced by a 59.4% decrease in adhesion force between the fiber and hydrophilic AFM tip. In addition, the impregnation of CaCO3
dramatically increased the Young’s modulus of the fiber by 344%.