Biopolymer composite based on natural and derived hemp cellulose fibres

Ouajai, S 2005, Biopolymer composite based on natural and derived hemp cellulose fibres, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Applied Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Biopolymer composite based on natural and derived hemp cellulose fibres
Author(s) Ouajai, S
Year 2005
Abstract The aim of this research was to study the effect of pre-treatment and modification processes on the properties of hemp cellulose fibre for biopolymer composites application. Hemp fibres have been modified by various extraction, swelling, chemical and enzymatic treatments. The morphology and mechanical properties of the modified fibres have been measured. Biopolymer composites have been prepared using the modified fibres and matrices of cellulose acetate butyrate and cellulose solutions derived from hemp. The first fibre treatment employed was acetone extraction and mercerization. A low pressure acrylonitrile grafting initiated by azo-bis-isobutylonitrile was performed using alkali treated fibre. The AN grafted fibres had no transformation of crystalline structure as observed after mercerization. The mechanical properties performed by a single fibre test method were strongly influenced by the cellulose structure, lateral index of crystallinity, and fraction of grafting. Bioscouring of hemp using pectate lyase (EC 4.2.2.2), Scourzyme L, was performed. Greater enzyme concentration and a longer treatment improved the removal of the low methoxy pectin component. Removal of pectate caused no crystalline transformation in the fibres, except for a slight decline in the X-ray crystalline order index. Smooth surfaces and separated fibres were evidence of successful treatment. The shortening of fibre by grinding and ball-milling was introduced to achieve a desired fibre size. An increase in the milling duration gradual ly destroyed the crystalline structure of the cellulose fibres. An increase in solvent polarity, solvent-fibre ratio, agitation speed and drying rate resulted in the rearrangement of the ball-milled cellulose crystalline structure to a greater order. The thermal degradation behaviour of hemp fibres was investigated by using TGA. The greater activation energy of treated hemp fibre compared with untreated fibre represented an increase in purity and improvement of structural order. The all hemp cellulose composites were prepared by an introduction of fibres into 12% cellulose N-methyl-morpholine N-oxide (NMMO) solution and water-ethanol regeneration. A broadening of the scattering of the main crystalline plane, (002) and a depression of the maximum degradation temperature of the fibres were observed. These revealed a structural change in the fibres arising from the preparation. The mechanical properties of composites depended on size, surface area, crystallinity and the structural swelling of the fibres. Composites of cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB) and modified hemp fibres were prepared. Composites containing pectate lyase enzyme treated fibres showed better mechanical property improvement than untreated and alkali treated fibres respectively.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Applied Sciences
Keyword(s) Hemp
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