Technological watch

Flame retardancy and thermal stability of agricultural residue fiber?reinforced polylactic acid: A Review

Lactic acid is the processed through fermentation of dextrose from corn. Lactic acid then aids formation of lactide, which is distilled and polymerized into PLA polymer.Biocomposites containing natural fibers and biopolymers are an ideal choice for developing substantially biodegradable materials for different applications. Polylactic acid is a biopolymer produced from renewable resources and has drawn numerous interest in packaging, electrical, and automotive application in recent years. However, its potential application in both electrical and automotive industries is limited by its flame retardancy and thermal properties. One way to offset this challenge has been to incorporate natural or synthetic flame retardants in polylactic acid (PLA). The aim of this article is to review the trends in research and development of composites based on agricultural fibers and PLA biopolymers over the past decade. This article highlights recent advances in the fields of flame retardancy and thermal stability of agricultural fiber?reinforced PLA. Typical fiber?reinforced PLA processing techniques are mentioned. Over 75% of the studies reported that incorporation of agricultural fibers resulted in enhanced flame retardancy and thermal stability of fiber?reinforced PLA. These properties are further enhanced with surface modifications on the agricultural fibers prior to use as reinforcement in fiber?reinforced PLA. From this review it is clear that flame retardancy and thermal stability depends on the type and pretreatment method of the agricultural fibers used in developing fiber?reinforced PLA. Further research and development is encouraged on the enhancement of the flame retardancy properties of agricultural fiber?reinforced PLA, especially using agricultural fibers themselves as flame retardants as opposed to synthetic flame retardants that are typically used.

Publication date: 04/10/2020

Author: Vianney Andrew Yiga, Michael Lubwama, Sinja Pagel, Johannes Benz, Peter Wilberforce Olupot, Christian Bonten

Reference: doi:10.1002/pc.25835

Polymer Composites


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.