Development of reinforced bio composite plastic using biochar filler.
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Over recent years, enthusiasm towards the manufacturing of biopolymers has attracted considerable attention due to the rising concern about depleting resources and worsening pollution. Among the biopolymers available in the world, polylactic acid (PLA) is one of the highest biopolymers produced globally and thus, making it suitable for product commercialisation. Therefore, the effectiveness of natural fibre reinforced PLA composite as an alternative material to substitute the non-renewable petroleum-based materials has been examined by researchers. The type of fibre used in fibre/matrix adhesion is very important because it influences the bio composites’ mechanical properties. The research aim was to determine the effect of different factors such as biochar length, biochar loading and magnesium hydroxide content on the tensile strength and thermal stability of the PLA plastics developed. Higher biochar loading (30%wt) with smaller biochar particles (300µm) were found to enhance the tensile strength up to 24.89Mpa. Increasing the magnesium hydroxide content (10%wt) was found to enhance the thermal stability of plastics developed but reduce the tensile strength up to below 2Mpa. Fibre-reinforced PLA composites were prepared using compression moulding. Magnesium hydroxide and biochar filler were used to enhance tensile and thermal properties of PLA. Three factors, namely, biochar filler loading (10−30 wt. %), Mg (OH) 2) content (5−10wt. %) biochar length (300µm-2.68mm) were varied with 17 individual experiments. Tensile tests were carried out according to ASTM D638 standards. TGA tests were carried out to test for thermal properties Keywords: Polylactic acid (PLA), biochar, Mg (OH) 2, tensile strength properties, TGA