Renewed interest in biopolymer composites: incorporation of renewable, plant-sourced fibers

Cody W. Weyhrich, Stella P. Petrova, Kevin J. Edgar, Timothy E. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


High-performance polymer-based composites provide materials that display a spectrum of properties, including those required by rapidly developing aerospace and automotive technologies. The composite structure enables optimization of a variety of physical properties - molecular weight, mechanical strength, toughness, and thermal stability. Too often, however, environmental impact and recyclability remain unaddressed. Presently, carbon emissions and climate change constitute great threats to human society, leading us to examine more closely the impact of fossil fuel-based composites. Herein we discuss diverse pathways to achieve the advantageous properties of composites, while remaining attentive to environmental consequences. The planet provides numerous natural fibers with properties that could permit a wide range of performances; however, biosources are currently undervalued and underutilized. The combination of natural fibers with bio-renewable matrices is an end goal for environmentally friendly composites, allowing for the advancement of structural composites with greatly reduced ecological and economical cost. This review highlights the significance and utility of bio-based composites with special attention to the regional resiliency of resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-129
Number of pages24
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 13 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution


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