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Utilization of cellulose based agro-waste as reinforcement for unsaturated polyester composites


The current work has two purposes; the former is to extract micro crystalline cellulose (Cel-2) from landfill materials namely olive husk residue (OHR). The latter is to check the potential of the Cel-2 as reinforcing agent for unsaturated polyester resin (uPE) composites. The OHR is an agro-waste material with deep brown color. It was treated with hydrogen peroxide solution, followed by mercerization to obtain cellulosic based material (Cel-1). The Cel-1 was immersed in concentrated hydrochloric acid to liberate the micro crystalline cellulose (cel-2). The Cel-2 has been characterized by attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy (ATR-IR), wide angle X-ray scattering, particle size analysis from the dry state, thermo-gravimetric analysis and scanning electron microscope (SEM). The reinforcing ability of the Cel-2 was checked by incorporation into UPE. The composites were inspected with reference to their mechanical properties particularly impact strength, flexural strength. The possibility of interactions between carbonyl of the uPE and the hydroxyl of the Cel-2 was evaluated by ATR-IR. The quality of bonding between both components was inspected by SEM.

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Ahmad Mousa is thankful for the administration and the technical staff of the Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden e.V., Dresden (Germany) for making all the facilities available to carry out this project. I am also grateful to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for the research scholarship to carry out this research.

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Correspondence to Ahmad Mousa.

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Mousa, A., Heinrich, G., Wagenknecht, U. et al. Utilization of cellulose based agro-waste as reinforcement for unsaturated polyester composites. Int J Plast Technol 20, 203–218 (2016).

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