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Sustainable Carbon Dioxide based Polymer Blends and Natural Fiber Composites

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Title: Sustainable Carbon Dioxide based Polymer Blends and Natural Fiber Composites
Author: Enriquez, Eugene
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Misra, ManjusriMohanty, Amar Kumar
Abstract: This thesis is an investigation to enhance the efforts of advancing the CO2 based polymer technology and addresses the issue of carbon emission. The target of this study was to utilize poly(propylene carbonate) (PPC), to develop sustainable biopolymer blends and biocomposites for various applications. This thesis is divided into 3 studies: (1) biopolymer blends of PPC with poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV), (2) switchgrass surface modification via alkali and bleach treatments, (3) biocomposites from the chosen biopolymer blend and untreated and treated switchgrass. Incorporating PHBV into PPC was capable of improving thermal and mechanical performance with the added bonus of improving the dimensional stability of the material. Surface modification of switchgrass increased the cellulose content and enhanced the surface roughness of the fiber showing promising results for use in composite applications. Enhancement of the mechanical properties for the chosen blend was observed upon the addition of untreated and treated switchgrass into the system.
Date: 2016-09
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