Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Renewable Resources Related Abstracts

7 Biodegradable Polymeric Composites of Polylactide and Epoxidized Natural Rubber

Authors: Masek A., Zaborski M., Diakowska K.


Polymeric materials have found their use almost in every branch of industry worldwide. Most of them constitute so-called “petropolymers" obtained from crude oil. However literature information sounds a warning that its global sources are running out. Thus, it seems that one should search for polymeric materials from renewable raw materials belonging to the group of green polymers. Therefore on account of environmental protection and the issue of sustainable technologies, nowadays greater and greater achievements have been observed in the field of green technology using engineering sciences to develop composite materials. The main aim of this study was to research what is the influence of biofillers on the properties. We used biofillers like : cellulose with different length of fiber, cellulose UFC100, silica and montmorillonite. In our research, we reported on biodegradable composites exhibitingspecificity properties by melt blending of polylactide (PLA), one of the commercially available biodegradable material, and epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) containing 50 mol.%epoxy group. Blending hydrophilic natural polymers and aliphatic polyesters is of significant interest, since it could lead to the development of a new range of biodegradable polymeric materials. We research the degradation of composites on the basis epoxidized natural rubber and poly(lactide). The addition of biofillers caused far-reaching degradation processes. The greatest resistance to biodegradation showed a montmorillonite-based mixtures, the smallest inflated cellulose fibers of varying length.The final aim in the present study is to use ENR and poly(lactide) to design composite from renewable resources with controlled degradation.

Keywords: Renewable Resources, degradation, biopolymer, polylactide

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6 Mechanical Properties of Palm Oil-Based Resin Containing Unsaturated Polyester

Authors: Alireza Fakhari, Abdul Razak Rahmat


In this study, new palm oil-based polymer systems have been produced by blending unsaturated polyester (UPE) and maleinated, acrylated epoxidized palm oil (MAEPO). The MAEPO/UPE ratio was varied between 10/90 and 40/60 wt%. The influences of various loadings of MAEPO (10, 20, 30, and 40 wt%) on tensile, flexural and impact properties of resulting polymer systems were investigated. The results revealed that, these bio-based polymer systems exhibit mechanical properties comparable to those of petroleum-based polymers.

Keywords: Renewable Resources, palm oil, bio-based resin, unsaturated polyester resin

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5 Property Rights and Trade Specialization

Authors: Sarma Binti Aralas


The relationship between property rights and trade specialization is examined for developing and developed countries using panel data analysis. Property rights is measured using the international property rights index while trade specialization is measured using the comparative advantage index. Cross country differences in property rights are hypothesized to lead to differences in trade specialization. Based on the argument that a weak protection of natural resources implies greater trade in resource-intensive goods, developing countries with less defined property rights are hypothesized to have a comparative advantage in resource-based exports while countries with more defined property rights will not have an advantage in resource-intensive goods. Evidence suggests that developing countries with weaker environmental protection index but are rich in natural resources do specialize in the trade of resource-intensive goods. The finding suggests that institutional frameworks to increase the stringency of environmental protection of resources may be needed to diversify exports away from the trade of resource-intensive goods.

Keywords: Environmental protection, Renewable Resources, panel data, trade specialization

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4 Analysis of Trends and Challenges of Using Renewable Biomass for Bioplastics

Authors: Namasivayam Navaranjan, Eric Dimla


The world needs more quality food, shelter and transportation to meet the demands of growing population and improving living standard of those who currently live below the poverty line. Materials are essential commodities for various applications including food and pharmaceutical packaging, building and automobile. Petroleum based plastics are widely used materials amongst others for these applications and their demand is expected to increase. Use of plastics has environment related issues because considerable amount of plastic used worldwide is disposed in landfills, where its resources are wasted, the material takes up valuable space and blights communities. Some countries have been implementing regulations and/or legislations to increase reuse, recycle, renew and remanufacture materials as well as to minimise the use of non-environmentally friendly materials such as petroleum plastics. However, issue of material waste is still a concern in the countries who have low environmental regulations. Development of materials, mostly bioplastics from renewable biomass resources has become popular in the last decade. It is widely believed that the potential for up to 90% substitution of total plastics consumption by bioplastics is technically possible. The global demand for bioplastics is estimated to be approximately six times larger than in 2010. Recently, standard polymers like polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) or Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), but also high-performance polymers such as polyamides or polyesters have been totally or partially substituted by their renewable equivalents. An example is Polylactide (PLA) being used as a substitute in films and injection moulded products made of petroleum plastics, e.g. PET. The starting raw materials for bio-based materials are usually sugars or starches that are mostly derived from food resources, partially also recycled materials from food or wood processing. The risk in lower food availability by increasing price of basic grains as a result of competition with biomass-based product sectors for feedstock also needs to be considered for the future bioplastic production. Manufacturing of bioplastic materials is often still reliant upon petroleum as an energy and materials source. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of bioplastic products has being conducted to determine the sustainability of a production route. However, the accuracy of LCA depends on several factors and needs improvement. Low oil price and high production cost may also limit the technically possible growth of these plastics in the coming years.

Keywords: biomass, Bioplastics, plastics, Renewable Resources

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3 Production of Polyurethane Foams from Bark Wastes

Authors: Bruno Esteves, Luísa P. Cruz-Lopes, Liliana Rodrigues, Idalina Domingos, José Ferreira, Luís Teixeira de Lemos


Currently, the polyurethanes industry is dependent on fossil resources to obtain their basic raw materials (polyols and isocyanate), as these are obtained from petroleum products. The aim of this work was to use biopolyols from liquefied Pseudotsuga (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Turkey oak (Quercus cerris) barks for the production of polyurethane foams and optimize the process. Liquefaction was done with glycerol catalyzed by KOH. Foams were produced following different formulations and using biopolyols from both barks. Subsequently, the foams were characterized according to their mechanical properties and the reaction of the foam formation was monitored by FTIR-ATR. The results show that it is possible to produce polyurethane foams using bio-based polyols and the liquefaction conditions are very important because they influence the characteristics of biopolyols and, consequently the characteristics of the foams. However, the process has to be further optimized so that it can obtain better quality foams.

Keywords: Renewable Resources, polyurethane foam, Bio-based polyol, mechanical tests, Pseudotsuga bark, Turkey oak bark

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2 Implementation of Ecological and Energy-Efficient Building Concepts

Authors: Robert Wimmer, Soeren Eikemeier, Michael Berger, Anita Preisler


A relatively large percentage of energy and resource consumption occurs in the building sector. This concerns the production of building materials, the construction of buildings and also the energy consumption during the use phase. Therefore, the overall objective of this EU LIFE project “LIFE Cycle Habitation” (LIFE13 ENV/AT/000741) is to demonstrate innovative building concepts that significantly reduce CO₂emissions, mitigate climate change and contain a minimum of grey energy over their entire life cycle. The project is being realised with the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union. The ultimate goal is to design and build prototypes for carbon-neutral and “LIFE cycle”-oriented residential buildings and make energy-efficient settlements the standard of tomorrow in line with the EU 2020 objectives. To this end, a resource and energy-efficient building compound is being built in Böheimkirchen, Lower Austria, which includes 6 living units and a community area as well as 2 single family houses with a total usable floor surface of approximately 740 m². Different innovative straw bale construction types (load bearing and pre-fabricated non loadbearing modules) together with a highly innovative energy-supply system, which is based on the maximum use of thermal energy for thermal energy services, are going to be implemented. Therefore only renewable resources and alternative energies are used to generate thermal as well as electrical energy. This includes the use of solar energy for space heating, hot water and household appliances like dishwasher or washing machine, but also a cooking place for the community area operated with thermal oil as heat transfer medium on a higher temperature level. Solar collectors in combination with a biomass cogeneration unit and photovoltaic panels are used to provide thermal and electric energy for the living units according to the seasonal demand. The building concepts are optimised by support of dynamic simulations. A particular focus is on the production and use of modular prefabricated components and building parts made of regionally available, highly energy-efficient, CO₂-storing renewable materials like straw bales. The building components will be produced in collaboration by local SMEs that are organised in an efficient way. The whole building process and results are monitored and prepared for knowledge transfer and dissemination including a trial living in the residential units to test and monitor the energy supply system and to involve stakeholders into evaluation and dissemination of the applied technologies and building concepts. The realised building concepts should then be used as templates for a further modular extension of the settlement in a second phase.

Keywords: Sustainable Building, Green Architecture, Renewable Resources, Energy-Efficiency

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1 Cycle-Oriented Building Components and Constructions Made from Paper Materials

Authors: Jens Schneider, Rebecca Bach, Evgenia Kanli, Nihat Kiziltoprak, Linda Hildebrand, Ulrich Knaack


The building industry has a high demand for resources and at the same time is responsible for a significant amount of waste created worldwide. Today's building components need to contribute to the protection of natural resources without creating waste. This is defined in the product development phase and impacts the product’s degree of being cycle-oriented. Paper-based materials show advantage due to their renewable origin and their ability to incorporate different functions. Besides the ecological aspects like renewable origin and recyclability the main advantages of paper materials are its light-weight but stiff structure, the optimized production processes and good insulation values. The main deficits from building technology’s perspective are the material's vulnerability to humidity and water as well as inflammability. On material level, those problems can be solved by coatings or through material modification. On construction level intelligent setup and layering of a building component can improve and also solve these issues. The target of the present work is to provide an overview of developed building components and construction typologies mainly made from paper materials. The research is structured in four parts: (1) functions and requirements, (2) preselection of paper-based materials, (3) development of building components and (4) evaluation. As part of the research methodology at first the needs of the building sector are analyzed with the aim to define the main areas of application and consequently the requirements. Various paper materials are tested in order to identify to what extent the requirements are satisfied and determine potential optimizations or modifications, also in combination with other construction materials. By making use of the material’s potentials and solving the deficits on material and on construction level, building components and construction typologies are developed. The evaluation and the calculation of the structural mechanics and structural principals will show that different construction typologies can be derived. Profiles like paper tubes can be used at best for skeleton constructions. Massive structures on the other hand can be formed by plate-shaped elements like solid board or honeycomb. For insulation purposes corrugated cardboard or cellulose flakes have the best properties, while layered solid board can be applied to prevent inner condensation. Enhancing these properties by material combinations for instance with mineral coatings functional constructions mainly out of paper materials were developed. In summary paper materials offer a huge variety of possible applications in the building sector. By these studies a general base of knowledge about how to build with paper was developed and is to be reinforced by further research.

Keywords: Renewable Resources, construction typologies, cycle-oriented construction, innovative building material, paper materials

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