Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 1677–1685 | Cite as

Development of Green Composites Based on Polypropylene and Corncob Agricultural Residue

  • R. R. F. Ramos
  • D. D. Siqueira
  • R. M. R. Wellen
  • I. F. Leite
  • G. M. Glenn
  • E. S. MedeirosEmail author
Original paper


Green composites of polypropylene (PP) and corncob (CCB) agricultural residue with CCB content ranging from 5 to 30 wt% were compounded by melt extrusion and their properties investigated by density measurements, thermogravimetric analyses, differential scanning calorimetry, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and tension, flexural and impact properties. Properties were dependent on CCB content. SEM micrographs showed that PP/CCB composites are composed of all layers of the corncob, but with a higher content of woody ring and pith. Composites with CCB up to 20 wt% presented particles evenly dispersed into PP matrix and density values ranging from 0.929 to 1.026 g/cm3. Thermal analyses showed that CCB is thermally stable up to 200 °C, ensuring that no degradation took place during processing, and PP/CCB composites are more crystalline than neat PP. Tensile strength and elongation at break of the composites decreased respectively from 30 to 20 MPa, and 22.7 to 3.7%, and the elastic modulus increased while the impact strength remained practically constant at 14 J/m for the filling contents tested. Elastic and flexural moduli increased respectively from 906 MPa to 1.1 GPa and from to 1.26 to 1.81 GPa with corncob addition.


Composites Polypropylene Corncob Agricultural residues 



The authors would like to thank the Brazilian Research Council (CNPq) and Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Level Personnel (CAPES) for the financial aid provided. Thanks are also due to Dr. L. H. Carvalho for helping with polymer processing.


This study was funded by National Research Council (CNPQ).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials Engineering, Materials and Biosystems Laboratory (LAMAB)Federal University of ParaíbaJoão PessoaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Textile EngineeringFederal University of Rio Grande do NorteNatalBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Materials EngineeringFederal University of Campina GrandeCampina GrandeBrazil
  4. 4.Bioproduct Research UnitWestern Regional Research Center (WRRC), Pacific West Area (PWA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)AlbanyUSA

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