New poly(lactic acid) composites produced from coffee beverage wastes


In this study, aiming to reduce the environmental impact of plastics, new composite materials containing recycled fibers from used paper coffee cups and oil extracted from spent coffee grounds (SCG) were produced. Accordingly, the cellulose fibers were chemically modified using lactic acid to be used as poly(lactic acid) filler reinforcement. The obtained results revealed that its addition improved the mechanical properties of the ensuing composites. The addition of 30% wt/wt of unmodified and modified fibers increased the Young modulus by 53% and 72%, respectively. In addition, enhanced biodegradability was obtained due to higher water absorption (up to 4% wt/wt). In parallel, coffee oil was used as a plasticizer and the affinity between the plasticizer and polymer matrix was confirmed by the lack of phase separation, by the improved flexibility of derived materials (the addition of 40% wt/wt of plasticizer increased the elongation at break by 86%) and by the better processability of the ensuing materials (the addition of 30% wt/wt of plasticizer increased the MFI by 205%). Overall, the results suggest that the use of modified cellulose fibers and the addition of SCG oil-based plasticizer can be promising routes to produce eco-friendly plastics.



subject category

Polymer Science


Gama, N; Ferreira, A; Evtuguin, DV

our authors


Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia, Grant/Award Numbers: UIDB/50011/2020, UIDP/50011/2020; FEDER; Infrastructure Project, Grant/ Award Number: No 022161

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