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Title: Valorization of Pennisetum setaceum: From Invasive Plant to Fiber Reinforcement of Injected Composites
Authors: Cabrera García, Patricia Del Pino 
Marrero Alemán, María Dolores 
Benítez Vega, Antonio Nizardo 
Paz Hernández, Rubén 
UNESCO Clasification: 3308 Ingeniería y tecnología del medio ambiente
Keywords: Pennisetum setaceum
Invasive species
Waste valorization
Natural fibers
Chemical treatment, et al
Issue Date: 2023
Journal: Plants 
Abstract: During the control campaigns of Pennisetum setaceum (invasive species widespread worldwide), the generated waste has accumulated in landfills. This study investigates its use to obtain P. setaceum fibers for their application as reinforcement of polymeric materials for injection molding, thus facilitating and promoting alternatives for the long-term sustainable management of P. setaceum. The extracted fibers were treated with alkaline, silane, acetic acid, and combined alkaline and silane treatments. Different composites with 20 and 40 wt% of fiber were extruded, and test samples were obtained by injection molding using recycled polyethylene as matrix. The composition of the fibers was determined by gravimetric methods, and contrasted with the analysis of the functional chemical groups using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. Increases of up to 47% in the cellulose content of the treated fiber were observed. The thermal degradation was also evaluated using thermogravimetric analysis, which determined an increase in the degradation temperature, from 194 to 230 °C, after the combined alkaline–silane treatment. In order to analyze the differences in the composites, tensile, flexural, and impact properties were evaluated; in addition, differential scanning calorimetry was performed. Regarding the flexural behavior, it was possible to improve the flexural modulus up to 276% compared with that of the unreinforced polymer.
ISSN: 2223-7747
DOI: 10.3390/plants12091777
Source: Plants [ISSN 2223-7747], v. 12(9), 1777, abril 2023. This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternatives for a Sustainable Management of Invasive Plant Species
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