INVESTIGATING THE USE OF PHENOLIC RICH FRACTION OF PYROLYSIS BIO-OILS AS AN ADHESIVE SYSTEM
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Fast pyrolysis allows converting of up to 75 % of biomass into a crude bio-oil, which can be separated into a phenolic rich fraction (PRF) via ethyl acetate extraction while a sugar rich fraction preferentially concentrates in the aqueous phase. Rheological and thermal characterization of heat treated PRF from pyrolysis of Douglas Fir is performed using cone and plate rheology set up, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The results show that this material demonstrates a unique thermoplastic behavior with low Tg and softening point that can be systematically manipulated through changes in thermal history. As these materials are good candidates for development of hot melt adhesives, lap shear tests were also performed using wood stripes to evaluate their mechanical properties as an adhesive.Optimization of properties of the PRF is sought in this study through polymer blending with other bio-degradable thermoplastic poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(lactic acid) (PLA). Blends of PRF/PCL and PRF/PLA of different ratios are prepared by solvent casting and melt blending and thermally and thermomechanically characterized for their miscibility and phase behavior. Presence of molecular interactions are furthur investigated using Fourier transform infrared spectoscopy (FTIR). The blends show complete miscibility based on their Tg and melting points and significant improvement in shear strength is observed. Mechanisms leading to changes in properties are described and a physical model is proposed. The blend systems have good potential to be used as a thermoplastic bio degradable adhesives with satisfactoty properies.