NC State
Mathias, J. D., Alzina, A., Grédiac, M., Michaud, P., Roux, P., De Baynast, H., Delattre, C., Dumoulin, N., Faure, T., Larrey-Lassalle, P., Mati-Baouche, N., Pennec, F., Sun, S., Tessier-Doyen, N., Toussaint, E., and Wei, W. (2015). "Upcycling sunflower stems as natural fibers for biocomposite applications," BioRes. 10(4), 8076-8088.


One of the big global, environmental, and socioeconomic challenges of today is to make a transition from fossil fuels to biomass as a sustainable supply of renewable raw materials for industry. Growing public awareness of the negative environmental effects of petrochemical-based products adds to the need for alternative production chains, especially in materials science. One option lies in the value-added upcycling of agricultural by-products, which are increasingly being used for biocomposite materials in transport and building sector applications. Here, sunflower by-product (obtained by grinding the stems) is considered as a source of natural fibers for engineered biocomposite material. Recent results are shown for the main mechanical properties of sunflower-based biocomposites and the socioeconomic impact of their use. This paper demonstrates that sunflower stem makes a good candidate feedstock for material applications. This is due not only to its physical and chemical properties, but also to its socioeconomic and environmental rationales.
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