Tuning Sugarcane Bagasse Biochar into a Potential Carbon Black Substitute for Polyethylene Composites
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One of the most used carbonaceous materials by industry are carbon blacks, which have technological applications in polymeric composites, coatings and paints, electric and electrochemical devices. One drawback is that they are produced from fossil fuels. Although biochars are also carbonaceous materials some disadvantages like their larger particles size, high ash content and highly oxygenated surface must be overcome to enable their use as substitute of carbon blacks in composites. Sugarcane bagasse biochar was used to produce carbonaceous materials to substitute carbon blacks. Milling of biochar decreased particle size from several hundreds of micrometers to 100–500 nm and narrowed its size distribution. Chemical leaching reduced the inorganic compounds and ash content by almost 20%. Great advance was achieved when biochar was thermally annealed in alcohol vapor atmosphere which resulted in biochar-based material with very low oxygenated carbon species at particles surface and turned them hydrophobic. Almost no C–O/C=O and O–C=O peaks components were observed at the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy spectrum. Reactive thermal annealing of the biochar based additive was a key procedure to obtain polyethylene composites (5% loading) with mechanical, thermal and colorimetric properties very close to the ones prepared with the carbon black from fossil fuels.
KeywordsPolyolefin Composite Pyrolysis Filler Nanomaterial
Prof. Liliane Maria Ferrareso Lona and Msc. Caroline Nogueira Kuchnier from the Chemistry Engineering Faculty of the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) are acknowledged for the use of injection molding system (Thermo Scientific HAAKE MiniJet II). Msc. Manoella da Silva Cavalcante and Prof. Edson Noriyuki Ito are thanked for the cryo-ultra-micro cuts of polymeric composites. Bioware Ltda company is acknowledged for biochar preparation service. Authors also acknowledge Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory (LNNano) for the use of the SEM (proposal SEM-19904), AFM (proposal AFM-21346), XPS and µ-CT facilities. The National System of Laboratories for Nanotechnology (SisNANO/MCTI) is acknowledged for its financial support in infrastructure and equipment at the LNNano.
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