Location: Bio-oils ResearchTitle: Coating applications to natural fiber composites to improve their physical, surface and water absorption characters
Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/2/2017
Publication Date: 12/7/2017
Citation: Liu, Z., Tisserat, B.H. 2018. Coating applications to natural fiber composites to improve their physical, surface and water absorption characters. Industrial Crops and Products. 112:196-199.
Interpretive Summary: This research revealed that chemical modification of distiller's dried grains (DDGS) resulted in superior water resistance properties, thereby enhancing value by expanding market applications. DDGS are a coproduct from bio-ethanol plants that are primarily used as animal feed. However, the current market value for DDGS is falling due to excess production and limited applications. In order for ethanol biorefineries to remain profitable, all coproducts or residues of the ethanol production must have a use and a strong economic value. Current DDGS-flax composites have limited applications and value due to their tendency to absorb water. We report new dried distiller's dried grains (DDGS)-flax composites with enhanced water resistance properties that are superior to common DDGS-flax composites. This technology advancement will allow for a broader range of products to be developed from these underutilized materials, thus providing additional revenue to the ethanol producers and enhancing rural economies.
Technical Abstract: Natural (organic) fibers are used in reinforced composites and natural fiber composites (NFCs). These fibers have advantages over synthetic composites such as high mechanical properties, lower densities and biodegradablity. However, one major disadvantage of NFCs is their hydrophilicity. In this study, we report a method to prepare dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS)-flax composites which can be subsequently coated with acrylated epoxidized soybean oil (AESO) and polymerized by UV light with Irgacare®819 initiator. The physical, mechanical and water resistance properties of coated DDGS-flax composites were compared to the untreated samples. Results showed that water resistance property was improved by AESO coating. The surface roughness, color and mechanical properties of coated DDGS-flax composites only slightly differed from untreated composites.