Effect of Particle Pre-treatments on the Quality of Kenaf Core/HDPE Plastic Composites

Xiaoping Li, Jed Cappellazzi, Jeffrey J. Morrell


Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) produces a highly versatile fiber with a variety of uses, but it also produces sizable amounts of core materials that have fewer value-added applications. One possible use for the plant core is in plastic composites, but developing suitable interactions between the hydrophobic plastic and the hydrophilic kenaf core is difficult. In this study, the potential for using various kenaf core pre-treatments was explored using high-density polyethylene (HDPE). While the pre-treatments changed the pectin content and lignin content, the increase or decrease depended on the pre-treatment methods. Pretreatments of core particles with 1% NaOH for 60 min or 1% HCl for 30 min markedly improved the mechanical properties of a 60/40 kenaf/HDPE mixture, although the pre-treatment had little effect on resistance to fungal attack. The results suggest that pectinase enzyme or cellulase enzyme pretreatment time should be shortened to 30 min or 60 min.


Kenaf; Hibiscus cannabinus; High density polyethylene (HDPE); Low density composites; Water sorption; Flexural properties; Decay resistance

Full Text:


Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucia-bioresources@ncsu.edu URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126