As the annual production of the solid waste generable in the form of spent coffee bean powder (SCBP) is over 6 million tons, its utilization in the generation of green energy, waste water treatment and as a filler in biocomposites is desirable. The objective of this article is to analyze the possibilities to valorize coffee bean powder as a filler in cellulose matrix. Cellulose matrix was dissolved in the relatively safer aqueous solution mixture (8% LiOH and 15% Urea) precooled to -12.5°C. To the cellulose solution (SCBP) was added in 5-25wt% and the composite films were prepared by regeneration method using ethyl alcohol as a coagulant. Some SCBP was treated with aq. 5% NaOH and the composite films were also prepared using alkali treated SCBP as a filler. The films of composites were uniform with brown in color. The cellulose/SCBP films without and with alkali treated SCBP were characterized by FTIR, XRD, optical and polarized optical microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and tensile tests. The maximum tensile strength of the composite films with alkali treated SCBP varied between (106-149MPa) and increased with SCBP content when compared to the composites with untreated SCBP. The thermal stability of the composite was higher at elevated temperatures when alkali treated SCBP was used. Based on the improved tensile properties and photo resistivity, the cellulose/SCBP composite films with alkali treated SCBP may be considered for packaging and wrapping of flowers and vegetables.
This work focuses on the fabrication of hybrid bio-composites using green epoxy as the matrix material, hemp (H) and sisal (S) fibre mats as the reinforcements. The hybrid composite with sisal/hemp fibres were fabricated by cost effective hand lay-up technique, followed by hot press with different stacking sequences. Static properties of the composites such as tensile, compressive, inter-laminar shear strengths (ILSS) and hardness were examined. The physical properties such as density, void content, water absorption and thickness swelling were also analyzed. The experimental results indicate that hybrid composites exhibited minor variation in tensile strength when the stacking sequence was altered. The hybrid composite with the intercalated arrangement (HSHS) exhibited the highest tensile modulus when compared with the other hybrid counterparts. Hybrid composites (SHHS and HSSH) offered 40% higher values of compressive strength than the other layering arrangements. HHHH sample exhibited the highest ILSS value of 4.08 MPa. Typical failure characteristics of the short beam test such as inter-laminar shear cracks in the transverse direction, micro-buckling and fibre rupture were also observed.
Bio-composites are easy to manufacture and environmentally friendly, could reduce the overall cost and provide lightweight due to the low density of the natural fibers. In a bid to compete with the synthetic fiber reinforced composites, a single natural fiber composite may not be a good choice to obtain optimal properties. Hence, hybrid composites are produced by adding two or more natural fibers together to obtain improved properties, such as mechanical, physical, thermal, water absorption, acoustic and dynamic, among others. Regarding thermal stability, the composites showed a significant change by varying the individual fiber compositions, fiber surface treatments, addition of fillers and coupling agents. The glass transition temperature and melting point obtained from the thermomechanical analysis and differential scanning calorimetry are not the same values for several hybrid composites, since the volume variation was not always parallel with the enthalpy change. However, the difference between the temperature calculated from the thermomechanical analysis and differential scanning calorimetry was lower. Significantly, this critical reviewed study has a potential of guiding all composite designers, manufacturers and users on right selection of composite materials for thermal applications, such as engine components (covers), heat shields and brake ducts, among others.