New Synthesis Routes toward Improvement of Natural Filler/Synthetic Polymer Interfacial Crosslinking

Mahmoud M.A. Nassar, Belal J. Abu Tarboush, Khalid I. Alzebdeh*, Nasr Al-Hinai, Tasneem Pervez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Among the critical issues dictating bio-composite performance is the interfacial bonding between the natural fibers and polymer matrix. In this regard, this article presents new synthesis routes comprising the treatment and functionalization of both date palm powder (DPP) filler and a polypropylene (PP) matrix to enhance filler–polymer adhesion in the newly developed bio-composites. Specifically, four bio-composite forms are considered: untreated DPP filled PP (DPP-UT/PP), treated DPP filled PP (DPP-T/PP), treated DPP filled functionalized PP using 2-isocyanatoethyl methacrylate (DPP-T/PP-g-IEM), and treated and functionalized DPP using 4-toluenesulfonyl chloride filled functionalized PP using 2-acrylamide ((DPP-T)-g-TsCl/PP-g-AcAm). The functional groups created on the surface of synthesized PP-g-IEM react with activated hydroxyl groups attached to the filler, resulting in chemical crosslinking between both components. Similarly, the reaction of TsCl with NH2 chemical groups residing on the mating surfaces of the filler and polymer generates an amide bond in the interface region. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is used to confirm the successful coupling between the filler and polypropylene matrix after applying the treatment and functionalization schemes. Owing to the introduced crosslinking, the DPP-T/PP-g-IEM bio-composite exhibits the best mechanical properties as compared to the neat polymer, unfunctionalized polymer-based bio-composite, and (DPP-T)-g-TsCl/PP-g-AcAm counterpart. The applied compatibilizers assist in reducing the water uptake of the manufactured bio-composites, increasing their durability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number629
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 7 2022


  • Bio-composites
  • Compatibilizers
  • Filler–polymer compatibility
  • Functionalization
  • Interfacial bonding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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