molecules-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

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: closed (30 June 2020) | Viewed by 28273

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Materials Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Interests: nanofibre technology; biomaterials/surgical implants; textile structural composites

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering, The University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada
Interests: advanced composites manufacturing; Industry 5.0; immersive technology applications; multidisciplinary training
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2700 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.

Keywords

  • 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 (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

18 pages, 6122 KiB  
Article
Fabrication and Characterization of Lignin/Dendrimer Electrospun Blended Fiber Mats
by Somaye Akbari, Addie Bahi, Ali Farahani, Abbas S. Milani and Frank Ko
Molecules 2021, 26(3), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26030518 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2210
Abstract
Blending lignin as the second most abundant polymer in Nature with nanostructured compounds such as dendritic polymers can not only add value to lignin, but also increase its application in various fields. In this study, softwood Kraft lignin/polyamidoamine dendritic polymer (PAMAM) blends were [...] Read more.
Blending lignin as the second most abundant polymer in Nature with nanostructured compounds such as dendritic polymers can not only add value to lignin, but also increase its application in various fields. In this study, softwood Kraft lignin/polyamidoamine dendritic polymer (PAMAM) blends were fabricated by the solution electrospinning to produce bead-free nanofiber mats for the first time. The mats were characterized through scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, zeta potential, and thermogravimetry analyses. The chemical intermolecular interactions between the lignin functional groups and abundant amino groups in the PAMAM were verified by FTIR and viscosity measurements. These interactions proved to enhance the mechanical and thermal characteristics of the lignin/PAMAM mats, suggesting their potential applications e.g. in membranes, filtration, controlled release drug delivery, among others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocomposites – A Path Towards Circular Economy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 2948 KiB  
Article
A Preliminary Environmental Assessment of Epoxidized Sucrose Soyate (ESS)-Based Biocomposite
by Shokoofeh Ghasemi, Mukund P. Sibi, Chad A. Ulven, Dean C. Webster and Ghasideh Pourhashem
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2797; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122797 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4046
Abstract
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 the byproduct of another industry or recycled back to the manufacturing process, they will bring additional economic benefits through [...] Read more.
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 the byproduct of another industry or recycled back to the manufacturing process, they will bring additional economic benefits through contributing to a circular economy. Here we investigate and compare the environmental performance of a biocomposite composed of a soybean oil-based resin (epoxidized sucrose soyate) and flax-based reinforcement using life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. We evaluate the main environmental impacts that are generated during the production of the bio-based resin used in the biocomposite, as well as the biocomposite itself. We compare the life cycle impacts of the proposed biocomposite to a functionally similar petroleum-based resin and flax fiber reinforced composite, to identify tradeoffs between the environmental performance of the two products. We demonstrate that the bio-based resin (epoxidized sucrose soyate) compared to a conventional (bisphenol A-based) resin shows lower negative environmental impacts in most studied categories. When comparing the biocomposite to the fossil fuel derived composite, it is demonstrated that using epoxidized sucrose soyate versus a bisphenol A (BPA)-based epoxy resin can improve the environmental performance of the composite in most categories except eutrophication and ozone layer depletion. For future designs, considering an alternative cross-linker to facilitate the bond between the bio-based resin and the flax fiber, may help improve the overall environmental performance of the biocomposite. An uncertainty analysis was also performed to evaluate the effect of variation in LCA model inputs on the environmental results for both the biocomposite and composite. The findings show a better overall carbon footprint for the biocomposite compared to the BPA-based composite at almost all times, demonstrating a good potential for marketability especially in the presence of incentives or regulations that address reducing the carbon intensity of products. This analysis allowed us to pinpoint hotspots in the biocomposite’s supply chain and recommend future modifications to improve the product’s sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocomposites – A Path Towards Circular Economy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 3850 KiB  
Article
Environmental Durability Enhancement of Natural Fibres Using Plastination: A Feasibility Investigation on Bamboo
by Daanvir K. Dhir, Armin Rashidi, Grant Bogyo, Ron Ryde, Sepideh Pakpour and Abbas S. Milani
Molecules 2020, 25(3), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030474 - 22 Jan 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3163
Abstract
Natural fibers are gaining wide attention due to their much lower carbon footprint and economic factors compared to synthetic fibers. The moisture affinity of these lignocellulosic fibres, however, is still one of the main challenges when using them, e.g., for outdoor applications, leading [...] Read more.
Natural fibers are gaining wide attention due to their much lower carbon footprint and economic factors compared to synthetic fibers. The moisture affinity of these lignocellulosic fibres, however, is still one of the main challenges when using them, e.g., for outdoor applications, leading to fast degradation rates. Plastination is a technique originally used for the preservation of human and animal body organs for many years, by replacing the water and fat present in the tissues with a polymer. This article investigates the feasibility of adapting such plastination to bamboo natural fibres using the S-10 room-temperature technique in order to hinder their moisture absorption ability. The effect of plastination on the mechanical properties and residual moisture content of the bamboo natural fibre samples was evaluated. Energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray micro-computed tomography (Micro-CT) were employed to characterize the chemical composition and 3-dimensional morphology of the plastinated specimens. The results clearly show that, as plastination lessens the hydrophilic tendency of the bamboo fibres, it also decreases the residual moisture content and increases the tensile strength and stiffness of the fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocomposites – A Path Towards Circular Economy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 4608 KiB  
Article
Influence of Water Absorption on the Low Velocity Falling Weight Impact Damage Behaviour of Flax/Glass Reinforced Vinyl Ester Hybrid Composites
by Angeline Paturel and Hom Nath Dhakal
Molecules 2020, 25(2), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25020278 - 09 Jan 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3429
Abstract
Due to rigorous new environmental legislations, automotive, marine, aerospace, and construction sectors have redirected their focus into using more recyclable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly lightweight materials driven by strengthening resource efficiency drive. In this study, the influence of moisture absorption on flax and [...] Read more.
Due to rigorous new environmental legislations, automotive, marine, aerospace, and construction sectors have redirected their focus into using more recyclable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly lightweight materials driven by strengthening resource efficiency drive. In this study, the influence of moisture absorption on flax and flax/glass hybrid laminates is presented with the aim to investigating their low velocity impact behaviour. Three different types of composite laminates namely, flax fibre reinforced vinyl ester, flax fibre hybridised glass fibre and glass fibre reinforced vinyl ester composites were fabricated using resin infusion technique. The moisture immersion tests were undertaken by immersing the different specimens in sea water bath at room temperature and 70 °C at different time durations. The low velocity falling weight impact testing was performed at 25 Joules of incident energy level and impact damage behaviour was evaluated at both ageing conditions using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray microcomputed tomography (micro CT). The percentage of moisture uptake was decreased for flax vinyl ester specimens with glass fibre hybridisation. The maximum percentage of weight gain for flax fibre, flax/glass hybrid and glass fibre reinforced composites immersed at room temperature for 696 h is recorded at 3.97%, 1.93%, and 0.431%, respectively. The hybrid composite exhibited higher load and energy when compared flax/vinyl ester composite without hybridisation, indicating the hybrid system as a valid strategy towards achieving improved structural performance of natural fibre composites. The moisture absorption behaviour of these composites at room was observed to follow Fickian behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocomposites – A Path Towards Circular Economy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 3041 KiB  
Article
Chitosan-Based Bio-Composite Modified with Thiocarbamate Moiety for Decontamination of Cations from the Aqueous Media
by Nisar Ali, Adnan Khan, Muhammad Bilal, Sumeet Malik, Syed Badshah and Hafiz M. N. Iqbal
Molecules 2020, 25(1), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25010226 - 06 Jan 2020
Cited by 68 | Viewed by 3371
Abstract
Herein, we report the development of chitosan (CH)-based bio-composite modified with acrylonitrile (AN) in the presence of carbon disulfide. The current work aimed to increase the Lewis basic centers on the polymeric backbone using single-step three-components (chitosan, carbon disulfide, and acrylonitrile) reaction. For [...] Read more.
Herein, we report the development of chitosan (CH)-based bio-composite modified with acrylonitrile (AN) in the presence of carbon disulfide. The current work aimed to increase the Lewis basic centers on the polymeric backbone using single-step three-components (chitosan, carbon disulfide, and acrylonitrile) reaction. For a said purpose, the thiocarbamate moiety was attached to the pendant functional amine (NH2) of chitosan. Both the pristine CH and modified CH-AN bio-composites were first characterized using numerous analytical and imaging techniques, including 13C-NMR (solid-form), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), elemental investigation, thermogravimetric analysis, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Finally, the modified bio-composite (CH-AN) was deployed for the decontamination of cations from the aqueous media. The sorption ability of the CH-AN bio-composite was evaluated by applying it to lead and copper-containing aqueous solution. The chitosan-based CH-AN bio-composite exhibited greater sorption capacity for lead (2.54 mmol g−1) and copper (2.02 mmol g−1) than precursor chitosan from aqueous solution based on Langmuir sorption isotherm. The experimental findings fitted better to Langmuir model than Temkin and Freundlich isotherms using linear regression method. Different linearization of Langmuir model showed different error functions and isothermal parameters. The nonlinear regression analysis showed lower values of error functions as compared with linear regression analysis. The chitosan with thiocarbamate group is an outstanding material for the decontamination of toxic elements from the aqueous environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocomposites – A Path Towards Circular Economy)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

18 pages, 5019 KiB  
Article
Injection Molded Novel Biocomposites from Polypropylene and Sustainable Biocarbon
by Mohamed A. Abdelwahab, Arturo Rodriguez-Uribe, Manjusri Misra and Amar K. Mohanty
Molecules 2019, 24(22), 4026; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24224026 - 07 Nov 2019
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3956
Abstract
Achieving sustainability in composite materials for high-performance applications is a key issue in modern processing technologies. In this work, the structure-property relationships of injection molded polypropylene (PP)/biocarbon composites were investigated with a focus on the thermal properties and specific emphasis on the coefficient [...] Read more.
Achieving sustainability in composite materials for high-performance applications is a key issue in modern processing technologies. In this work, the structure-property relationships of injection molded polypropylene (PP)/biocarbon composites were investigated with a focus on the thermal properties and specific emphasis on the coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE). Biocomposites were produced using 30 wt.% biocarbon in a PP matrix, and two different sources of biocarbon produced at ~650 and 900 °C were used. The overall results were compared with 30 wt.% glass- and talc-filled PP composites. Due to the lamellar morphology of the talc developed during the extrusion-injection molding processing, talc-filled composites showed an increase in the CLTE in the normal direction (ND), and a reduction in the flow direction (FD) with respect to the neat polymer. Glass fiber composites also showed an improvement in the CLTE with respect to the neat polymer. However, the biocarbon-based composites showed the best properties in the ND, with improved values in biocarbon produced at higher temperature. The FD values for both biocarbon composites were improved with respect to the matrix, while biocarbon created at lower temperature showed slightly lower expansion values. A comprehensive explanation of these overall phenomena is supported by a series of morphological, thermal, mechanical and rheological tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocomposites – A Path Towards Circular Economy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 4957 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Characterization of Bletilla striata Polysaccharide/Polylactic Acid Composite
by Renyu Yang, Dongyue Wang, Hongli Li, Yi He, Xiangyu Zheng, Mingwei Yuan and Minglong Yuan
Molecules 2019, 24(11), 2104; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24112104 - 03 Jun 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3132
Abstract
Polylactic acid (PLA) is limited in its application due to its high price, high brittleness and low glass-transition temperature. Modification methods are currently used to overcome these shortcomings. In this study, Bletilla striata polysaccharide (BSP) was blended with PLA by a solvent method. [...] Read more.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is limited in its application due to its high price, high brittleness and low glass-transition temperature. Modification methods are currently used to overcome these shortcomings. In this study, Bletilla striata polysaccharide (BSP) was blended with PLA by a solvent method. DMA data showed that the BSP/PLA film had a higher glass-transition temperature, and the glass-transition temperature of the film showed an extreme value of 68 °C when the proportion of the chalk polysaccharide was 0.8%. TG data indicates that the composite film material has good thermal stability. Tensile tests show that the composite film is improved in rigidity and elasticity compared to the pure PLA film. The blending modification of PLA with white peony polysaccharide not only reduces the cost of PLA, but also improves the thermal and mechanical properties of PLA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocomposites – A Path Towards Circular Economy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

20 pages, 4137 KiB  
Review
From Dermal Patch to Implants—Applications of Biocomposites in Living Tissues
by Karolina Papera Valente, Alexandre Brolo and Afzal Suleman
Molecules 2020, 25(3), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030507 - 24 Jan 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3964
Abstract
Composites are composed of two or more materials, displaying enhanced performance and superior mechanical properties when compared to their individual components. The use of biocompatible materials has created a new category of biocomposites. Biocomposites can be applied to living tissues due to low [...] Read more.
Composites are composed of two or more materials, displaying enhanced performance and superior mechanical properties when compared to their individual components. The use of biocompatible materials has created a new category of biocomposites. Biocomposites can be applied to living tissues due to low toxicity, biodegradability and high biocompatibility. This review summarizes recent applications of biocomposite materials in the field of biomedical engineering, focusing on four areas—bone regeneration, orthopedic/dental implants, wound healing and tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocomposites – A Path Towards Circular Economy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop