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Comparison of Water Uptake as Function of Surface Modification of Empty Fruit Bunch Oil Palm Fibres in PP Biocomposites
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Wood Chemistry and Pulp Technology.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymer Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2139-7460
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Wood Chemistry and Pulp Technology.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5394-7850
2013 (English)In: BioResources, ISSN 1930-2126, E-ISSN 1930-2126, Vol. 8, no 2, 2998-3016 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Empty fruit bunch oil palm (EFBOP) fibres were surface modified by four different methods, propionylation, vinyltrimethoxy silanization, PPgMA dissolution modification, and PPgMA blending, and integrated into a polypropylene (PP) matrix. The designed biocomposites were subjected to an absorption process at different temperatures. Their water uptake behaviour was compared with the unmodified fibre biocomposites. An increased fibre content and temperature resulted in increased water uptake for all of the biocomposites. The biocomposites containing modified fibres showed a reduction in water uptake, rate of diffusion, sorption, and permeation in comparison with unmodified fibre composites. Comparing the 20 wt% fibre composites at ambient temperature, the performance in water absorption followed the sequence silanization < propionylation < PPgMA dissolution modification < PPgMA blending < no modification. Furthermore, the lowest water absorption was obtained from the silanized fibre/PP composite with 40% fibre content at ambient temperature. Dissolution or blending of PPgMA gave similar water uptake results. The reduction of diffusion, sorption, and permeation confirmed that the modification of fibres was potentially effective at resisting water penetration into the composites.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 8, no 2, 2998-3016 p.
Keyword [en]
Biocomposite, Fibre modification, Oil palm fibre, Polypropylene, Water
National Category
Polymer Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-119924ISI: 000320185500073Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84877933255OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-119924DiVA: diva2:612883
Note

QC 20130625

Available from: 2013-03-25 Created: 2013-03-25 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Tuning the long-term properties to control biodegradation by surface modifications of agricultural fibres in biocomposites
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tuning the long-term properties to control biodegradation by surface modifications of agricultural fibres in biocomposites
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Sustainable polymeric materials put emphasis on mastering the whole life-cycle of polymeric materials. This includes the choice of raw materials, selection of synthesis and processing, environmental impact during long-term use followed by detailed knowledge about recycling and waste management.  Within this large efforts are put in the design and development of new biocomposites using renewable fibres instead of inert ones. The thesis deals with surface modifications of agricultural fibres and the design of biocomposites with optimal long-term properties balancing the potential risk for biodegradation. 

The first part of this thesis involved surface modifications of oil palm fibres and production of biocomposites with PP as matrix. The chemical surface modifications of oil palm fibres explored propionylation, PPgMA grafting via solution modification and reactive blending and vinyltrimethoxy silanization as methods. All modified fibre/PP biocomposites showed improvements in the mechanical properties followed also by an improvement of water resistance. In comparison with unmodificed fibres/PP matrix the highest water resistance after the surface modifications of oil palm fibres were observed for silanization followed by PPgMA modified,  PPgMA blending and  propionylation.

The second part aimed at producing fully biodegradable biocomposites and analysing the resulting properties with respect to potential risk for biodegradation. Sisal fibres were incorporated in PLA and PHBV and the resulting risk for biodegradation using a fungus, Aspergillus niger, monitored. Neat PLA and PHBV were compared with the corresponding biocomposites and already without fibres both polymers were notably biodegraded by Aspergillus niger. The degree of biodegradation of PLA and PHBV matrices was related to the extent of the growth on the material surfaces. Adding sisal fibres gave a substantial increase in the growth on the surfaces of the biocomposites.

Correlating the type of surface modification of sisal fibres with degree of biodegradation, it was demonstrated that all chemically modified sisal/PLA biocomposites were less biodegraded than unmodified sisal biocomposites.  Propionylated sisal/PLA demonstrated the best resistance to biodegradation of all biocomposites while sisal/CA/PLA demonstrated high level of biodegradation after severe invasion by Aspergillus niger.

In general, the biodegradation correlated strongly with the degree of water absorption and surface modifications that increase the hydrophobicity is a route to improve the resistance to biodegradation.

Designing new biocomposites using renewable fibres and non-renewable and renewable matrices involve the balancing of the increase in mechanical properties, after improved adhesion between fibres and the polymer matrix, with the potential risk for biodegradation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. xi, 76 p.
Series
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2013:11
Keyword
agricultural fibres, biocomposites, renewable polymers, PP, PLA, PHBV, surface modifications, water uptake, microbial growth, biodegradation
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-119915 (URN)978-91-7501-677-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-04-22, Q2, Osquldasväg 10 NB, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20130325

Available from: 2013-03-25 Created: 2013-03-25 Last updated: 2013-03-26Bibliographically approved

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Strömberg, EmmaKarlsson, Sigbritt

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