Feasibility study of chemical treatments on sorghum fibres for compatibility enhancement in polypropylene composites

Ismojo, Rai Pratama, Ghiska Ramahdhita, Anne Zulfia Syahrial, Mochamad Chalid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Polypropylene (PP) is one of the biggest petro-polymers, which is used in very wide application nowadays. The environment problem due to materials such as plastics having very long time degradability, and critical petroleum sources have promoted some studies to empowerment of natural resources such as natural fibres for substituting or at least modifying petro-polymers. Because of biodegradability obtained from natural source, sorghum fibers are interesting to be used as filler in PP composites, despite of weak compatibility between them. Surface modification on the sorghum fibers through alkalinization prior to acetylation was aimed to improve the fiber compatibility to PP. The treatments were expected to substitute hydroxyl group in the sorghum fibers, into acetic ester group in order to increase their hydrophobicity as the fillers. Moreover, the treatments were able to unbundle single fibers into micro-fibrillated cellulose (MFC) fibres with increase in crystallinity index. Usage of this MFC fiber as filler in PP leads to improvement of the composite performances such as thermal properties. In this study, Fourier Transformation Infra-Red (FTIR) Spectroscopy, X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Field-Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM) were used to evaluate the performances of the Sorghum fibers after the treatments and as the filler in the Sorghum fibers/PP composites. The experimental results showed the MFC fibers as the smallest sizes in 5.0 microns and the highest crystallinity index up to 79.1 %, obtained from alkalinization with 2.5 M NaOH prior to acetylation with 17.4 M CH3COOH and the glacial (CH3CO2)2. Compatibility study of the treated Sorghum fibers on PP shows an improvement indicated by a strong interaction between the fibers and PP on morphology observation, increase in melting point of PP from 163.4°C (using virgin Sorghum fibers) into 163.6°C (using treated Sorghum fibers) in DSC measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Materials Research - QiR 15
EditorsArdiyansyah Yatim
PublisherTrans Tech Publications Ltd
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783035712667
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event15th International Conference on Quality in Research, QiR 2017 - Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
Duration: 24 Jul 201727 Jul 2017

Publication series

NameMaterials Science Forum
Volume929 MSF
ISSN (Print)0255-5476
ISSN (Electronic)1662-9752


Conference15th International Conference on Quality in Research, QiR 2017
CityNusa Dua, Bali


  • Acetylation
  • Alkalization
  • Compatibility
  • Composite
  • Crystallinity
  • Melting point
  • Micro-fibrillated Cellulose
  • Polypropylene
  • Sorghum


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