Grafting of acrylamide (AAm) onto oil palm empty fruits bunch fiber using hydrogen peroxide as initiator and methyl acrylate as comonomer was investigated. The amount of comonomer needed to make grafting of acrylamide possible was determined. The percentage of poly(acrylamide) and the comonomer in the final graft copolymer was estimated by elemental analysis. Results obtained indicated that methyl acrylate facilitated the incorporation of acrylamide monomer onto OPEFB. The reactivity ratios for both monomers were determined by using Fineman–Ross plot. The effects of reaction temperature and period as well as amount of the initiator, solvent, monomer and comonomer on the percentage of grafting at fixed amount of comonomer (11 mmol) were studied. Maximum percentage of grafting was achieved when the amount of initiator and solvent 3.98×10−3 mol and 50 mL respectively. The optimum reaction temperature was 50 ○C and the reaction period was 90 min. Highest percentage of grafting was 232% when 25.6 mmol of acrylamide was used under these optimum conditions. The presence of functional group in the grafted polymer is characterized by infrared spectroscopy and the surface morphology is observed by scanning electron microscopy. Thermoanalytic investigation on OPEFB and OPEFB-g-PAAM were carried out to evaluate the thermal stability and respective activation energy of the materials.
fiber graft copolymer lignocellulosic monomers radical polymerization reactivity ratio
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