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Open Access Pretreatment of Wheat Bran for Suitable Reinforcement in Biocomposites

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Wheat bran, abundant but underutilized, was investigated for its potential as a reinforcement in biocomposites through different pretreatment methods. Pretreatment methods included were dilute sodium hydroxide (NaOH), dilute sulfuric acid (H2SO4), liquid hot water (LHW), calcium hydroxide (CaOH), organosolv such as aqueous ethanol (EtOH), and methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK). Changes in chemical composition and fiber characteristics of the treated bran were studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Cellulose content increased to 35.1% and 29.6% in brans treated with H2SO4 and NaOH, respectively. The SEM micrographs showed surface cleaning of treated bran while maintaining sufficient surface roughness for the H2SO4, NaOH, and MIBK treated brans. Crystallinity index increased slightly for all treatments except H2SO4. NaOH and H2SO4 pretreated brans achieved important fiber characteristics, which could be useful for making thermoplastic biocomposites. Innovative use of bran in thermoplastic will create more opportunities for growers while enhancing biodegradability.

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Keywords: BIOCOMPOSITES; FIBER COMPOSITION; PRETREATMENT; SURFACE TREATMENT; WHEAT BRAN

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2017

This article was made available online on 27 April 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Pretreatment of Wheat Bran for Suitable Reinforcement in Biocomposites".

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  • The Journal of Renewable Materials (JRM) publishes high quality peer reviewed original research on macromolecules and additives obtained from renewable/biobased resources. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, JRM introduces cutting-edge research on biobased monomers, polymers, additives (both organic and inorganic), their blends and composites. It showcases both fundamental aspects and new applications for renewable materials. The fundamental theories and topics pertain to chemistry of biobased monomers, macromoners and polymers, their structure-property relationship, processing using sustainable methods, characterization (spectroscopic, morphological, thermal, mechanical, and rheological), bio and environmental degradation, and life cycle analysis. Demonstration of use of renewable materials and composites in applications including adhesives, bio and environmentally degradable structures, biomedicine, construction, electrical & electronics, mechanical, mendable and self-healing systems, optics, packaging, recycling, shape-memory, and stimulus responsive systems will be presented.
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