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Development of polymer blends and nanocomposites from byproducts of the extraction of babassu oil

Grant number: 17/22428-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2017
Effective date (End): July 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal Investigator:Alessandra de Almeida Lucas
Grantee:Fabio Yuji Kachiwazaki
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The exploitation of babassu palm tree in North and Northeast of Brazil generates jobs and incomes for about 300.000 families. The main product of this production chain is babassu oil. Many by products are generated and they have been used to low added value applications, such as animal feeding, fuel for seeds drying, coal, handcraft, between others. The fruit residues can be divided accordingly to the fruit part. Epicarp is lignocellulosic fibers rich. Mesocarp is starch rich which contains a good fraction of antioxidant phenolic compounds. Both can be considered as interesting raw materials for polymeric blends, composites and nanocomposites, aggregating value to this chain production, increase the financial incomes of the local population. In this way, this research project generates an important contribution to the work done by Prof. José Castro, from UFAM, together with Amazonian riverines. Studies of the production of babassu thermoplastic starch in a twin screw extrusion and its blend with PBAT poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) will be conducted and the mechanical and optical properties of their films evaluated, as well their morphologies. In a second step cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibrils will be extracted from babassu epicarp. They will be added to babassu starch films obtained from casting and extrusion. This step will be performed at INP-Grenoble, France, under the supervision of Prof. Alain Dufresne, who has been already collaborating with our research group. (AU)

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