Biodegradable Thermoplastic Natural Fiber Composite
This Small Business Innovation Phase I project aims at developing low-cost and fully biodegradable composites based on plant fibers and a thermoplastic lignin resin. The lignin resin will be based on chemically modified industrial byproduct lignins and will be specially formulated to obtain suitable tensile and shear strengths. It will be mace compatible with plant fibers and thus afford good fiber-matrix adhesion and achieve fiber reinforcement effects. The resulting composites are expected to possess adequate mechanical properties for many structural and non-structural applications such as building materials, furniture, packaging and casing for consumer products, and disposable containers. The success of the project could lead to the first commercialization of lignin-plant fiver composites. These composites can be manufactured in any size and shape using state-of-the-art robust processing technologies such as hot melt pressing and injection-molding. They will be recyclable and fully degradable at end-of-life. The strong growth in composite materials market will provide the niche as well as long term potential for the biodegradable composite products.
As the worldwide plastic litter problem is ever-growing and the concept of sustainability is more widely accepted, the low cost and biodegradability of the proposed lignin-plant fiber composites will provide the driving forces for their commercial success and propel widespread use of environmentally friendly materials from renewable sources. The production of value-added composites using byproduct ligins will thus has a positive impact to the overall economics of any biorefinery process in terms of increasing revenue and profit. The development of biocomposites from the abundant and renewable natural resources also provides a strategic alternative to the rapidly depleting petroleum. It will contribute to increasing national security, protecting the environment, creating jobs, and boosting the economy.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Li, Yan D.B.A.
1890 W. Hillcrest Dr., 517 Newbury Park, CA 91320
Number of Employees: