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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #285246


Location: Functional Foods Research

Title: Mechanical and thermal properties of high density polyethylene – dried distillers grains with solubles composites

item Tisserat, Brent
item Reifschneider, Louis - Illinois State University
item Harry-o`kuru, Rogers
item Finkenstadt, Victoria

Submitted to: BioResources
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2012
Publication Date: 11/6/2012
Citation: Tisserat, B., Reifschneider, L., Harry O Kuru, R.E., Finkenstadt, V.L. 2013. Mechanical and thermal properties of high density polyethylene – dried distillers grains with solubles composites. BioResources. 8(1):59-75.

Interpretive Summary: This research was conducted to test the feasibility of employing Dried Distillers Grain and Solubles (DDGS) a byproduct of ethanol manufacturing as bio-filler in thermoplastics. DDGS offers a huge unexploited source of inexpensive bio-filler material to be incorporated into high-priced plastics. DDGS composites may contribute toward development of useful low-cost products employing less petroleum consumption through the substitution with a bio-based filler. We demonstrated that DDGS fillers can be employed a bio-filler with polyethylene to generate a unique lignocellulosic plastic composite (LPC) with good mechanical, physical and thermal properties. Materials made with these LPC can be substituted for a variety of plastic items.

Technical Abstract: Dried Distillers Grain with Solubles (DDGS) is evaluated as a bio-based fiber reinforcement. Injection molded composites of high density polyethylene (HDPE), 25% by weight of DDGS, and either 5% of 0% by weight of maleated polyethylene (MAPE) were produced by twin screw compounding and injection molding. An improved DDGS bio-filler (STDDGS) was obtained by solvent extraction. Specimen tensile bars were evaluated for their tensile, flexural, impact, and thermal properties. Composite blends composed of STDDGS were superior to their DDSG counterparts. Composites made with STDDGS and MAPE had significantly improved tensile and flexural properties compared to neat HDPE. Impact strength of all composites was similar and lower than neat HDPE. Soaking of tensile bars of the various PE-DDGS blends in distilled water for 28 days altered their physical, color and mechanical properties. Differential scanning colorimetery and thermogravimetric analysis was conducted on neat HDPE and DDGS composites to evaluate their thermal properties.