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Natural Material Sources For Composite Materials Dr Ian Law, NNFCC. The National Non-Food Crops Centre, Science Park York YO10 5DG +44 (0) 1904435182. Life Cycle Assessment for Composites Workshop, Plymouth April 7 th 2005, . Natural Material Sources For Composite Materials.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Natural Material Sources

For Composite Materials

Dr Ian Law, NNFCC

The National Non-Food Crops Centre,

Science Park

York

YO10 5DG

+44 (0) 1904435182

Life Cycle Assessment for Composites Workshop, Plymouth

April 7th 2005,

slide2

Natural Material Sources

For Composite Materials

  • Why Use Them?
  • Which Components?
  • Agricultural Sources
  • Current UK Situation
  • Outlook
slide3

Why Use Them?

  • Environmental Benefits
    • Non-petroleum, renewable resource
    • CO2 Neutral (?)
    • (Potentially) Compostable
    • Energy recovery
  • Performance
    • Strength, weight, flexibility
  • Inherent properties
  • Handling/processing advantages
slide4

Which Components?

  • Fibres
    • Replace glass fibres, polyesters, etc
  • Resins
    • Replace epoxides and polyurethanes
    • Replace plastics with PLA, rPE
  • Plasticers / protectants
    • Replace phthalates, etc
slide5

Agricultural Sources

  • Fibres
    • Specific Crops or waste straw
      • Flax, hemp, nettle, miscanthus, kenaf
      • Lignocellulose (wheat straw)
  • Resins
    • (mostly) oleo-chemical-based
    • Plastics (PLA, PE)
  • Plasticers / protectants
    • Oleo-chemicals and anti-oxidants
slide6

Examples of UK Non-Food Crops

Crop Area (ha) Product Cost (£/tonne)*

OSR 82,000 Oil 145

Linseed 32,000 Oil 170

Flax Nil? Fibre N/a

Hemp 2800 Fibre/Oil 110

Crambe 4000 Oil 150

Borage 1800 Oil/Chems 1500

Echium ~100 Oil/Chems 3500

SRC** 2000 Energy 30 - 40

Miscanthus*** 3000 Energy/Fibre 25

* Cost of seed (not SRC and Miscanthus)

** Short rotation coppice willow

*** Miscanthus (Elephant Grass) can also be used as a premium horse bedding £100/tonne

slide7

Fibre Crops

Hemp

A Fibre-only or a Fibre/Oil Dual crop

slide8

Fibre Crops

Hemp

As a Fibre Crop:

3m – 4m tall

Spring sown

Rapidly maturing

6 – 7 Tonnes / Ha

Requires virtually no pesticides or herbicides

No subsidy under single farm payment scheme

slide9

Fibre Crops

Hemp

As a Dual Crop:

1.5 - 2m tall

Spring sown

Rapidly maturing

1.5 T / Ha straw

1.25T/Ha seed

(£350/T contract)

slide10

Fibre Crops

Miscanthus

Perennial: primarily an energy crop

Takes 3 - 5 years to reach maturity

Financial aid for establishment costs

slide11

Fibre Crops

Miscanthus

Estimated lifetime:

15 – 20 years

Weed control is critical for establishment

Mature crop suppresses all weeds

So far, no serious pathogens or pests in the UK

Requires very little fertiliser inputs (1st year only)

Leaf mould supplies mulch in subsequent years

slide12

Processing Fibre Crops

  • Retting takes place in the field (August)
  • Crop is turned, baled, and delivered to processor
  • Mechanical processing separates bast fibres
  • from woody inner stem (hurds)
  • Long, medium and short fibres produced
  • Short fibres generally employed in non-textile
  • applications
  • “Fibre architecture” is important in composite
  • performance
slide13

Processing Fibre Crops

  • Alternative retting processes under investigation (eg enzymatic)
  • Green de-cortication under investigation
  • Other de-cortication techniques being examined
  • Most developments are aimed at producing very high quality fibres at lower cost
  • Alternative uses for hurds (shiv) required!
slide14

Crop Waste: Wheat Straw

Products already developed and marketed in USA, Australia, China

(DURRA Brand straw panels)

The UK Exports technology for straw board manufacture (PU composites)

100 million tonnes of straw are produced annually in the UK

slide15

Renewable Resins

  • Aiming for 100% renewable composites!
  • Replace PU and formaldehyde/epoxy resins
  • with plant-based alternatives
  • US led, eg in modified soya oils, but
  • also plenty of other examples.
  • Some oils contain required functionality:
  • others require chemical modification.
slide16

Vegetable Oil Feedstock

Pko

Coc

Pko

Coc

Coc

Pal

Rap

Soy

Sun

Lin

Pal

Pean

Rap

Cra

Stearic

Oleic

Linoleic

Linolenic

Fatty Acid

Capric

Myristic

Erucic

Caprylic

Lauric

Palmitic

Arachidonic

Lignoceric

C8 C10 C12 C14 C16 C18 C20 C22 C24 C26

Biofuels

Market Sectors

Surfactants

Lubricants

Cosmetics

Polymers

Solvents

slide17

(CH2)7COOH

O

CH3(CH2)4CH CHCH2

Readily-reacted fatty acids

OH

(CH2)6COOH

CH3(CH2)5CHCH2

Ricinoleic Acid (Castor)

Vernolic Acid (Veronia)

Main sources can’t be grown in UK

slide18

(CH2)11COOH

(CH2)7COOH

CH3(CH2)7

CH3(CH2)7

CH3CH2

CH2

CH2

CH2(CH2)6COOH

Fatty Acids requiring further activation

Oleic Acid (HO-rape)

Alpha-Linolenic Acid (Linseed, hemp)

Erucic Acid (HEAR, crambe)

slide20

Chemical Modification of Fatty Acids

  • Amenable to a wide variety of catalysed chemical modifications
  • Increase value of common fatty acids by chemical modification
  • Epoxidation of Oleic Acid and Oleic Esters
    • Peracetic Acid (resin/acetic acid)
    • Enzyme (eg Novozym 435 immobilised Candida Antartica Lipase)
    • Molybdenum or Tungsten Catalysts, H2O2
  • Highly active, selective and stable epoxidation catalyst systems required
slide21

Present UK Situation

  • One UK processor & main contractor (Hemcore)
  • Current agricultural production meets processing
  • capacity (circa 2500 Ha per annum)
  • Most fibre product goes into German automotive
  • industry
  • Increasing interest in hemp growing
  • Market demand still growing
  • Considerable R&D expertise and interest
slide22

The Future UK Situation?

  • Possibility of processing starting up in N. Ireland
  • Improved retting / de-cortication provides
  • high-value fibre
  • Continued interest in growing and processing
  • Possibility of wheat straw being utilised
  • Construction Industry coming onboard
    • Particle boards, insulation materials, etc
  • Prototype bio-composites scaled-up
  • Resins and plasticisers developed