Upcycling Sunflower Stems as Natural Fibers for Biocomposite Applications

Jean-Denis Mathias, Arnaud Alzina, Michel Grédiac, Philippe Michaud, Philippe Roux, Hélène De Baynast, Cédric Delattre, Nicolas Dumoulin, Thierry Faure, Pyrène Larrey-Lassalle, Narimane Mati-Baouche, Fabienne Pennec, Shengnan Sun, Nicolas Tessier-Doyen, Evelyne Toussaint, Wei Wei

Abstract


One of the big global, environmental, and socioeconomic challenges of today is to make a transition from fossil fuels to biomass as a sustainable supply of renewable raw materials for industry. Growing public awareness of the negative environmental effects of petrochemical-based products adds to the need for alternative production chains, especially in materials science. One option lies in the value-added upcycling of agricultural by-products, which are increasingly being used for biocomposite materials in transport and building sector applications. Here, sunflower by-product (obtained by grinding the stems) is considered as a source of natural fibers for engineered biocomposite material. Recent results are shown for the main mechanical properties of sunflower-based biocomposites and the socioeconomic impact of their use. This paper demonstrates that sunflower stem makes a good candidate feedstock for material applications. This is due not only to its physical and chemical properties, but also to its socioeconomic and environmental rationales.

Keywords


Agricultural by-product; Biocomposite; Natural fiber; Sunflower stem; Waste management

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