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Development of polymeric compounds of polyolefines modified by cocoa residues flour

Grant number: 17/25650-9
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: November 01, 2018 - October 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Convênio/Acordo: FINEP - PIPE/PAPPE Grant
Principal Investigator:Marcio Kobayashi
Grantee:Marcio Kobayashi
Host Company:Afinko Soluções em Polímeros Ltda
CNAE: Fabricação de artefatos de material plástico não especificados anteriormente
City: São Carlos
Associated researchers:Bruno Perlatti ; Fábio Finocchio ; Mirella Cristina Fares
Associated research grant:15/01063-1 - Development of polymeric compound based on recycled polyolefins filled with cocoa hull flour, AP.PIPE
Associated scholarship(s):19/01585-9 - Development of polymeric compounds of polyolefines modified by cocoa residues flour, BP.PIPE


In the first part of the project it was demonstrated that it is possible to use flours, obtained from both the cocoa pod shell (FCFC) and the cocoa nut shell (FCAC), as fillers to modify polyolefin thermoplastics. The results presented in the phase 1 scientific report showed that the incorporation of both cocoa flours in polyolefins, such as polypropylene (PP), high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), provide properties similar to other flour obtained from waste wood and manioc hull. The flow characteristics of the obtained compounds showed an increase in their melt viscosity, as expected. However, this increase is less pronounced for LLDPE-based compounds. Micrographs of the HDPE / FCFC and PP / FCFC compounds by SEM showed that the addition of 3% by weight of compatibilizer provided a better interfacial interaction between the flour particles and the polyolefin thermoplastic matrices. The improvement of the interfacial characteristics of the compounds can be observed through the mechanical tensile behavior of the compounds, mainly with respect to the modulus of elasticity. The reduction of the Izod impact strength of the composites, tested through notched specimens, was not as deep as expected. LLDPE / FCAC compounds have been developed to be used in rotomolded parts. In that case the results have shown to be even more promising. A preliminary economic feasibility analysis for LLDPE / FCAC compounds showed that the cost of producing them is within the range expected to be commercialized. The proposal for phase 2 of this project aims to research the use of the most suitable compounds based on polyolefins with cocoa residue flour for certain applications in the market, both in the area of injection molded products as well as for rotomolding and thermoforming. Thus, it will be necessary to develop flours with specific characteristics for these molding processes, as well as compounds with processing characteristics suitable for manufacturing prototypes of products to be commercialized. Another challenge of this proposal is to establish a productive chain for the cocoa residue flour. This chain should be established from the initial processing of the pods peel when the post harvest pulp is extracted, as well as the stage of obtaining the flour from residues of the cocoa nut shell during the roasting phase of the almonds. This study needs to be established as the commercial availability of flour does not yet exist on the market. The characteristics of logistics should be researched to incorporate in the study of the economic feasibility of products manufactured from the compounds to be developed. (AU)

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