Natural Fibers, Biopolymers, and Biocomposites Edited by Amar K. Mohanty, Manjusri Misra, Lawrence T. Drzal


Natural Fibers, Biopolymers, and Biocomposites
Edited by Amar K. Mohanty, Manjusri Misra, Lawrence T. Drzal

Natural Fibers, Biopolymers, and Biocomposites


1. Natural Fibers, Biopolymers, and Biocomposites:
An Introduction
Amar K. Mohanty, Manjusri Misra, Lawrence T. Drzal,
Susan E. Selke, Bruce R. Harte, and Georg Hinrichsen
2. Plant Fibers as Reinforcement for Green Composites
Alexander Bismarck, Supriya Mishra, and Thomas Lampke
3. Processing of Bast Fiber Plants for Industrial Application
Friedrich Munder, Christian Fürll, and Heinz Hempel
4. Recent Developments in Retting and Measurement of
Fiber Quality in Natural Fibers: Pro and Cons
Roy B. Dodd and Danny E. Akin
5. Alternative Low-Cost Biomass for the Biocomposites Industry
Douglas D. Stokke
6. Fiber-Matrix Adhesion in Natural Fiber Composites
Pedro J. Herrera Franco and Alex Valadez-González
7. Natural Fiber Composites in Automotive Applications
Brett C. Suddell and William J. Evans
8. Natural Fiber Composites for Building Applications
Brajeshwar Singh and Manorama Gupta
9. Thermoset Biocomposites
Dipa Ray and Jogeswari Rout
10. Thermoplastic Wood Fiber Composites
Shankar Godavarti
11. Bamboo-Based Ecocomposites and Their
Potential Applications
Kazuo Kitagawa, Umaru S. Ishiaku, Machiko Mizoguchi, and Hiroyuki
12. Oil Palm Fiber–Thermoplastic Composites
Hj D. Rozman, Zainal A. Mohd Ishak, and Umaru S. Ishiaku
13. Natural Fiber−Rubber Composites and Their Applications
Seena Joseph, Maya Jacob, and Sabu Thomas
14. Straw-Based Biomass and Biocomposites
Xiaoqun Mo, Donghai Wang, Xiuzhi S. Sun
15. Sorona® Polymer: Present Status and Future Perspectives
Joseph V. Kurian
16. Polylactic Acid Technology
David E. Henton, Patrick Gruber, Jim Lunt, and Jed Randall
17. Polylactide-Based Biocomposites
David Plackett and Anders Södergård
18. Bacterial Polyester-Based Biocomposites: A Review
Alma Hodzic
19. Cellulose Fiber-Reinforced Cellulose Esters:
Biocomposites for the Future
Guillermo Toriz, Paul Gatenholm, Brian D. Seiler, and Debra Tindall
20. Starch Polymers: Chemistry, Engineering,
and Novel Products
Bor-Sen Chiou, Gregory M. Glenn, Syed H. Imam,
Maria K. Inglesby, Delilah F. Wood, and William J. Orts
21. Lignin-Based Polymer Blends and Biocomposite Materials
Satoshi Kubo, Richard D. Gilbert, and John F. Kadla
22. Soy Protein-Based Plastics, Blends, and Composites
Amar K. Mohanty, Wanjun Liu, Praveen Tummala,
Lawrence T. Drzal, Manjusri Misra, and Ramani Narayan
23. Synthesis, Properties, and Potential Applications of
Novel Thermosetting Biopolymers from Soybean
and Other Natural Oils
Fengkui Li and Richard C. Larock
24. Houses Using Soy Oil and Natural Fibers Biocomposites
Mahmoud A. Dweib, Annmarie O’Donnell, Richard P. Wool, Bo Hu, and Harry
W. Shenton III
25. Biobased Polyurethanes and Their Composites:
Present Status and Future Perspective
Jean-Pierre Latere Dwan’Isa, Amar K. Mohanty, Manjusri Misra, and
Lawrence T. Drzal
26. Cellulose-Based Nanocomposites
Lars Berglund
27. How Sustainable Are Biopolymers and Biobased Products?
The Hope, the Doubts, and the Reality
Martin Patel and Ramani Narayan

We are living in an interesting world. Our society has achieved enormous advances in quality of life due to an extensive discovery and availability of plastics derived from petroleum. However, as with any technology, unanticipated negative secondary effects are produced as well. The persistence of plastics in the environment, shortage of landfill space, concerns over emissions resulting from incineration, and hazards to human health as well as hazards to animals, birds, and fish from entrapment or ingestion of these materials have spurred the efforts to find more environment friendly alternative materials. The depletion of petroleum resources coupled with increase in environmental regulations have added to this effort of finding new materials and products that are compatible with the environment and independent of fossil fuels. Industries are developing and manufacturing “greener” materials; government is encouraging biobased product research; academicians are searching for eco-friendly materials; and the public is coming to value the benefit of environment friendly products and processes, but at affordable prices. Biobased materials offer a potential solution to this complex problem.

Natural fibers are now emerging as viable alternatives to glass fibers either alone or combined in composite materials for various applications in automotive parts, building structures and rigid packaging materials. The advantages of natural fibers over synthetic or man-made fibers such as glass are low cost, low density, competitive specific mechanical properties, carbon dioxide sequestration, sustainability, recyclability, and biodegradability.

Biobased polymers may be obtained from renewable resources and are gaining much importance over petroleum-based biodegradable polymers in recent years. Biopolymers have started migrating into the mainstream and biobased polymers may soon be competing with commodity plastics. Some of the examples for biopolymers include cellulosic biopolymers derived from renewable cellulose, starch plastics, corn-derived plastics, and bacterial polyesters.

Biocomposites produced from the combination of biofibers and bioplastics produce the necessary performance either entirely or in combination with petroleum-based polymers and offer a path to achieve ecofriendly materials in the 21st century. However, the need to produce 100% biobased materials as substitutes for petroleum-based materials is not immediate. Biocomposites that contain a significant content of biobased materials can presently achieve this at an affordable cost–performance ratio to compete with petroleum-based materials and still maintain a positive balance among ecology, economy, and technology.

This publication is intended to provide a comprehensive source for the latest advances in the area of biofibers, biopolymers, and biocomposites that can substitute for and compete with traditional petroleum-based materials and at the same time reduce environmental harm while maintaining the economic viability. We have assembled chapters on topics ranging from natural fibers (e.g., agricultural fibers, grass fibers, straw-based fibers, and traditional wood fibers), biopolymers to biobased composite materials in this book. In addition, we have included a comprehensive chapter on life cycle analysis of biobased polymers and materials that is emerging as the framework upon which sustainability of materials and processes will be established.

We hope this book will serve as a guide to (1) government policy makers to encourage more research on the generation and use of biobased materials; (2) industrial personnel to show that high performance, economical, biobased products can be produced; (3) university students and faculty researchers who are striving to advance sustainable materials and practices; and (4) the public to illustrate that materials sustainability, biodegradability, and environmental stewardship can be achieved without economic sacrifice.

We thank Susan G. Farmer, the former Editor of Materials Science and Engineering Division of CRC Press, whom we met at the American Society of Composites Annual Meeting in 2001 and who supported our ideas for this book, all the contributing authors who have made this project a reality, and our sincere thanks to our friends, colleagues, and students who have labored diligently on their chapters and responded to all the constructive criticisms that conceptualized this book. Our special thanks to Prasad V. Mulukutla who provided special assistance at various stages of this edition.

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