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Open AccessArticle

Silica-Milled Paulownia Biochar as Partial Replacement of Carbon Black Filler in Natural Rubber

Plant Polymer Research, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, IL 61604, USA
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(4), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3040107
Received: 25 September 2019 / Revised: 9 December 2019 / Accepted: 11 December 2019 / Published: 13 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rubber Composites)
Carbon black (CB) has been the dominant filler in the tire industry for decades. The demand for this petroleum byproduct is ever increasing, although petroleum markets can be volatile due to geopolitical issues. Finding sustainable, renewable substitutes for CB reduces the dependence on petroleum. Biochar is a renewable source of carbon that was studied as a potential CB replacement filler in styrene–butadiene rubber (SBR) composites, but little has been done in terms of natural rubber (NR). In this work, biochar made from fast-growing Paulownia elongata was co-milled with small amounts of silica in order to reduce the larger particle size typical with biochar respective to CB. The resulting silica-milled Paulownia biochar (PB) was then used to replace CB in natural rubber (NR) composites. By using this method to make natural rubber composites with 30% total filler, half of the CB was fully replaced with silica-milled biochar with very little loss (<6%) of tensile strength, and equal or better elongation and toughness compared to the 100% CB-filled control composite. View Full-Text
Keywords: Paulownia; biochar; carbon black; natural rubber; silica Paulownia; biochar; carbon black; natural rubber; silica
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Peterson, S.C. Silica-Milled Paulownia Biochar as Partial Replacement of Carbon Black Filler in Natural Rubber. J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3, 107.

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