Phenolic Resin-Based Fibre
Bio-novolac fibre made from phenol-formaldehyde-derived oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) was produced using the electrospinning method. The bio-novolac phenol-formaldehyde was prepared via liquefaction and resinification at two different molar ratios of formaldehyde to liquefied EFB (LEFB) (F:LEFB = 0.5:1 and 0.8:1). Electrospinning was applied to the bio-novolac phenol-formaldehyde (BPF) to form a smooth and thin as-spun fibre. The BPF was electrospun at 15 kV and 15 cm distance between needle and collector at a flow rate of 0.5 mL/h. At the lower molecular weight of BPF resin, beads formation was observed. The addition of poly(vinyl) butyral (Mw = 175,000 – 250,000) has improved the fibre formation with lesser beads hence produced more fibre. Polymer solution with higher molecular weight produced better quality fibre
INSPIRATION OF THE INVENTION
Electrospinning has received much attention due to its controllable diameter and pore structure. In addition, the process does not require the use of coagulation chemistry or high temperatures to produce solid threads from the polymer solution. This makes the process remarkably easier and suitable for the production of fibres using large and complex molecules.
PROBLEM STATEMENT & CURRENT ISSUES
The phenolic resin is petroleum-based. Synthetic resin or petroleum-based resin contains harsh and toxic chemicals that complicate the manufacturing process as tedious and high concentration is required when handling them. Furthermore, petroleum-based resin is a non-renewable source that cannot fully decompose in the environment, which will affect the environment in the future as the molecule chains of the toxic chemicals cannot be broken down.
INVENTIVENESS & NOVELTY
The project is the extension of a previously published patent on Novolac Resin with modification and formulation for electrospin fibre to make carbon fibre. The patent on biological novolac discussed making liquefaction EFB using phenol as a liquefaction reagent and moulded for the phenolic board. This invention starts with novolac phenolic resin with high mw polymer to increase the contact and stretch for electro-spray purposes. The formulation is the crucial part of getting the fibre, which can be peeled from the spray plate and can be used for other applications. The viscosity and amount of polymer added are important factors. The spray parameter like volt, distance and other will determine the size of fibre getting and whether you will get fibre or just the spray dotted. Current phenolic fibre is petroleum-based. The current carbon fibre is from PAN, phenolic resin and other petroleum bases.
USEFULNESS & APPLICATION
The electrospun phenolic resin fibre is in nanosize thus can be applied in various application such as filtration, optical, sensor and biological scaffold.
IMPACT OF THE PRODUCT
- Offer alternative use of the biomass from the oil palm industry.
- Competitive advantages, health and socioeconomic Impact
Automotive moulding compound like suspension, seats and bottom plates and electronic devices.
TRL : 4
- Plantation for water holding materials/fertilizer
- Sanitary and hygienist: diapers, absorbance sheets (hospital use) etc.
- Plant pot and decorations
TRL : 5
Project Leader : Prof. Dr. Sarani Zakaria
Co-Researcher : Prof. Mayda Dr. Chia Chin Hua, Dr. Sharifah Nabihah Syed Jaafar, Puan Siti Noorul Aina Ab Rahim
Dept./Fac./Inst : Applied Physics
Expertise : Lignocellulose composite, pulp and paper, biorefinery, nanotechnology, cellulose derivatives and regenerated products, bioresin
Wet Spinning Fibre
Chemically modified cellulose with EDTA fiber was dissolved in precooled NaOH/urea or LiOH/urea or concentrated H2SO4. Chitosan and alginate were added at different proportion and stages to enhance the properties of the regenerated cellulose fibers. Other nanoparticles such as limonite, graphene oxide, graphene quantum dot, magnetite and maghamite were added at different proportion. The cellulose solvent was spin and regenerated in non-solkvent of coagulant bath with mild H2SO4 or (NH4)2SO4 or Na2SO4. The coagulant temperature and its turbulence of the bath were controlled. The long fiber formed were dried using drum dryer or air dry or IR drying method.