Influence of lignin type on the characterization of natural fiber polymer composites
Keywords:Lignin, Natural fibers, Post-consumer packaging
The use of recycled raw materials and renewable sources are necessary for economical, social, environmental and technological development. In this context, this work aims to study the influence of two lignin types, one derived from pine (Lig I) and the other one from eucalyptus, (Lig II) on polymer composites properties of recycled low density polyethylene (r-LDPE-Al) and Pinus Elliotti wood flour (WF), in the proportion 70% and 30% matrix/reinforcement in weight, respectively. The r-LDPE-Al is from Tetra Pak post-consumer packaging. The composites were processed by extrusion in a laboratory co-rotation twin-screw extruder. The composites obtained were evaluated through tests of melt flow index (MFI), tensile strength, Charpy impact strength, density and heat deflection temperature (HDT). The MFI results indicated that both lignin showed potential use as a flow agent for r-LDPE-AL/WF composites, with an increase of 41% and 13% for Lig I and Lig II, respectively, when compared with composite reference 0 (without lignin). Mechanical test results showed that the lignin origin influences the composites’ properties where Lig I, is derived from pine (the same source as wood flour) had the best performance, indicating a potential use as a coupling agent. The results were favorable for a more noble reuse for post-consumer packaging and the lignin by-product.
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