Submitted to: Journal of Polymers and the Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/4/2013
Publication Date: 9/1/2014
Citation: Jong, L., Peterson, S.C., Jackson, M.A. 2014. Utilization of porous carbons derived from coconut shell and wood in natural rubber. Journal of Polymers and the Environment. 22(3):289-297.
Interpretive Summary: The porous carbons are made by conventional charcoal process with coconut shell and wood as the raw material source. These porous carbons are renewable and environmentally friendly. Because these carbons are rigid, they are investigated as filler to increase the strength of rubber. We significantly reduced the size of these porous carbons and blended them into natural rubber, and found the rubber strength was increased five fold when the rubber was filled with 40% porous carbon and stretched to 200 %. This development will produce environmentally friendly rubber products with useful strength, and will be beneficial to consumers and the producers of rubber products.
Technical Abstract: The porous carbons derived from cellulose are renewable and environmentally friendly. Coconut shell and wood derived porous carbons were characterized with elemental analysis, ash content, x-ray diffraction, infrared absorbance, particle size, surface area, and pore volume. The results were compared with carbon black. Uniaxial deformation of natural rubber composites indicate the composites reinforced with the porous carbon from coconut shell have higher tensile moduli at the same elongation ratio than the composites reinforced with wood carbon. 40% coconut shell composite showed a five fold increase in tensile modulus compared to natural rubber. Polymer-filler interactions were studied with frequency dependent shear modulus, swelling experiments and dynamic strain sweep experiments. Both linear and non-linear viscoelastic properties indicate the polymer-filler interactions are similar between coconut shell carbon and wood carbon reinforced composites. The swelling experiments, however, showed that the polymer-filler interaction is greater in the composites reinforced with coconut shell instead of wood carbon.