Influence of natural crosslinker and fibre weightage on waste kibisu fibre reinforced wheatgluten biocomposite


In this era of green and sustainable manufacturing, natural fibre-reinforced polymer composites (NFPC) have been widely accepted as the potential alternatives for polymer matrix composites (PMC) or any other non-biodegradable composites. Despite the increasing need to replace plastic bottles, bags, disposable plastic plates and trays, seedling pots used in our day to day life, not many studies have been made in this direction. The current work aims at developing a hundred percent biodegradable composite by reinforcing waste Kibisu silk fibre into wheat gluten as a possible replacement of plastic disposables. The developed composites are made up of different mass fractions of Kibisu silk fibre reinforced into plasticised wheat gluten. The prepared composites have been characterised to obtain the best combination. The developed composites were found to have adequate tensile property, mass degradation at a considerably high temperature and most importantly, the outstanding rate of biodegradation under normal atmospheric conditions. The soil quality test before and after degradation also showed no significant changes in the quality of the soil. FTIR studies revealed improved interaction between wheat gluten, glycerol and Kibisu fibres upon addition of natural lemon extract as crosslinker. Overall results indicate that the developed biocomposites have the potential to substitute harmful plastic disposables like plastic seedling pots and plates, disposable hospital tray, dustbin, etc.

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Data availability

The authors confirm that the data and material supporting the findings of this study are available within the article. Raw data are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Code availability

The authors confirm that the computer code is not used for this study.



Wheat gluten


Kibisu silk fibre


fibre reinforced polymer composite


Natural fibre reinforced polymer composites


Polymer matrix composite


Natural plant fibre reinforced polymer composites


Polybutylene succinate


Polyester carbonate


Polylactic acid

Type 1:

Composite with 60%WG40%F

Type 2:

Composite with 50%WG50%F

Type 3:

Composite with 40%WG60%F

Wx :

Initial weight of the sample before degradation

Wy :

Final weight of the sample after degradation

Wt :

% Weight loss of the composite


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The authors sincerely acknowledge the financial assistance received from the Department of Science and Technology, India under project number DST/TDT/AMT/2017/026.


A partial financial assistance is provided by DST (India) project number DST/TDT/AMT/2017/026 for this research.

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Correspondence to Ravi Kant.

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Bhowmik, P., Kant, R., Nair, R. et al. Influence of natural crosslinker and fibre weightage on waste kibisu fibre reinforced wheatgluten biocomposite. J Polym Res 28, 106 (2021).

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  • Biocomposite
  • Kibisu silk
  • Biodegradation
  • Green material
  • Bioplastics