Manufacturing of Natural Fiber/Agrowaste Based Polymer Composites

  • Debora Puglia
  • Fabrizio Sarasini
  • Carlo SantulliEmail author
  • José M. Kenny
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


Most recently, there has been an increasing interest for the production of laminates for semi-structural applications using sustainable materials. In this field, a possible option is the use of composites including ligno-cellulosic fibers, which are normally obtained as by-products from the textile industry, therefore mainly in the form of fabric or mats. Despite a reasonably large amount of studies on thermosetting composites reinforced with vegetable fibers also exist, in the view to replace fiberglass e.g., in the automotive industry, it is clear on the other side that the evolution of natural fiber composites has a much stronger drive towards the use of thermoplastic matrices and possibly biodegradable ones. Moreover, in terms of life cycle analysis (LCA), it is recommendable that both matrix and fiber are obtained from by-products or even better waste from an industrial or agricultural process, so that their use may represent as such a reduction in the environmental impact of the whole process. Therefore, this chapter discusses first the opportunities offered and challenges encountered in the production of natural fiber composites, then concentrating on the possibilities to obtain a polymer matrix alternative to petrol-based ones, especially in the particular case of manufacturing biopolymers by using agrowaste as received or with limited structural transformations rather than simply as a monomer (e.g., dextrose) source for polymer synthesis.


Lignocellulosic fibers Natural fiber composites Thermoplastic starch Biobased thermosets 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debora Puglia
    • 1
  • Fabrizio Sarasini
    • 2
  • Carlo Santulli
    • 3
    Email author
  • José M. Kenny
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversità di PerugiaTerniItaly
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering Materials EnvironmentSapienza Università di RomaRomeItaly
  3. 3.School of Architecture and DesignUniversità di CamerinoAscoli PicenoItaly

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