Abstract: A new class of biocomposites based on oil palm empty fruit bunch fiber and poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT), which is a biodegradable aliphatic aromatic co-polyester, were prepared using melt blending technique. The composites were prepared at various fiber contents of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 wt% and characterized. Chemical treatment of oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) fiber was successfully done by grafting succinic anhydride (SAH) onto the EFB fiber surface, and the modified fibers were obtained in two levels of grafting (low and high weight percentage gain, WPG) after 5 and 6 h of grafting. The FTIR characterization showed evidence of successful fiber esterification. The results showed that 40 wt% of fiber loading improved the tensile properties of the biocomposite. The effects of EFB fiber chemical treatments and various organic initiators content on mechanical and thermal properties and water absorption of PBAT/EFB 60/40 wt% biocomposites were also examined. The SAH-g-EFB fiber at low WPG in presence of 1 wt% of dicumyl peroxide (DCP) initiator was found to significantly enhance the tensile and flexural properties as well as water resistance of biocomposite (up to 24%) compared with those of untreated fiber reinforced composites. The thermal behavior of the composites was evaluated from thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)/differential thermogravimetric (DTG) thermograms. It was observed that, the chemical treatment has marginally improved the biocomposites’ thermal stability in presence of 1 wt% of dicumyl peroxide at the low WPG level of grafting. The improved fiber-matrix surface enhancement in the chemically treated biocomposite was confirmed by SEM analysis of the tensile fractured specimens.
Keywords: oil palm EFB fiber; poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate); biocomposite; fiber esterification; thermal and mechanical properties; succinic anhydride
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Siyamak, S.; Ibrahim, N.A.; Abdolmohammadi, S.; Yunus, W.M.Z.W.; Rahman, M.Z.A. Effect of Fiber Esterification on Fundamental Properties of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber/Poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) Biocomposites. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 1327-1346.
Siyamak S, Ibrahim NA, Abdolmohammadi S, Yunus WMZW, Rahman MZA. Effect of Fiber Esterification on Fundamental Properties of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber/Poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) Biocomposites. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2012; 13(2):1327-1346.
Siyamak, Samira; Ibrahim, Nor Azowa; Abdolmohammadi, Sanaz; Yunus, Wan Md Zin Wan; Rahman, Mohamad Zaki AB. 2012. "Effect of Fiber Esterification on Fundamental Properties of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber/Poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) Biocomposites." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 13, no. 2: 1327-1346.