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Special Issue "Biocomposites – A Path Towards Circular Economy"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Frank Ko

Department of Materials Engineering, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nanofibre technology; biomaterials/surgical implants; textile structural composites
Guest Editor
Prof. Abbas S. Milani

School of Engineering; The University of British Columbia, Kelowna, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: textile composites; material constitutive relations; finite element modelling; multicriteria optimization; manufacturing defects and Composites 4.0

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The continuous development of new biofiber and bioresin material options and their manufacturing processes into biocomposites has resulted in sustainable, fast growing, and cost-effective applications of these environmentally friendly materials in myriad industrial applications, ranging from aerospace, marine, and automotive, to construction, electronics, and home appliances. In particular, the growing industrial demand for multifunctional green composites has placed greater thrust on the development of added-value and energy-saving hybrid biocomposites and processes, whereby products’ thermomechanical/chemical/electrical/biological and safety requirements are met concurrently. Such products, with their careful design, considering 3R measures (repairable, reusable, and recyclable), can provide a circular economy (CE) for the regions and generations to come, especially when combined with the emerging Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The main objective of this Special Issue is to provide a forum for exchanging state-of-the-art and novel ideas in the fields of synthesis, characterization, modeling, optimization, and the application of different types of biocomposites at nano, micro, meso, and macro material scales, as aligned with the next lifecycle and closed-loop manufacturing approaches for composites. Authors from both academia and industry are invited to submit their original research and case studies, as well as review articles. All submitted articles should address the chemical composition of the given composite material system and relate it to the observed/modeled properties/processes.

Prof. Frank Ko
Prof. Abbas S. Milani
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Analytical and numerical techniques for analysis of natural fiber composites
  • Synthesis and characterization of bioresins
  • Multifunctional and green nanocomposites
  • Recycled and bio-sourced material systems
  • 2D/3D natural textile fabrics
  • Processing and manufacturing methods
  • Durability and aging
  • Interfacial properties of natural fibrous composites
  • Probabilistic approaches and material design
  • Material informatics for biocomposites
  • Applications and industrial case studies

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Authors: Ghasideh Pourhashem, Dean Webster, Mukund Sibi, and Chad Ulven
Affiliation: Center for Sustainable Materials Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58102
Title:LCA of a Soybean Oil-Based Resin and Flax Fiber-Based Reinforced Biocomposite
Biocomposites can be both environmentally and economically beneficial: during their life cycle they generally use and generate less petroleum-based carbon, and when produced from byproduct of another industry or recycled back to the manufacturing process, they will bring additional economic benefits through contributing to circular economy.

Here we investigate the environmental performance and advantages of a biocomposite composed of a soybean oil-based resin and flax-based reinforcement using life cycle assessment methodology. We evaluate the main environmental impacts that are generated at various stages of biocomposite life cycle starting from the choice of monomers and polymer formulation and production to biocomposite’s manufacturing and use phase. We compare the life cycle impacts of the proposed biocomposite to a functionally similar petroleum-based resin and fiberglass reinforced composite, to identify tradeoffs between the two products. This analysis helps us pinpoint hotspots in biocomposite supply chain and recommend future modifications for product improvement.

Our studied biocomposite will create value for the economy and society by minimizing resource use and environmental impacts. Applying the life cycle approach will allow us to measure the impacts of this proposed circular economy product.



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