The Effect of Alkaline Treatment on Poly(Lactic Acid)/Date Palm Wood Green Composites for Thermal Insulation

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9 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, the effect of alkaline treatment on the thermal insulation and mechanical properties of date palm wood fibers (DPWF) and polylactic acid (PLA) green composite was studied. Alkaline treatment was applied to DPWF using two different solutions: sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and potassium hydroxide (KOH), with concentration of 2 vol.%. The fibers were later incorporated into PLA with weight percentages from 10 to 40 wt.%, to form three composite types: PLA with untreated fibers (PLA-UTDPWF), PLA with KOH treated fibers (PLA-KOH), and PLA with NaOH treated fibers (PLA-NaOH). The prepared composites were for use as a green thermal insulation material. The composites were tested to assess the effect of treatment on their physical (density and degree of crystallization), thermal (thermal conductivity, specific heat capacity, thermal diffusivity, thermal degradation, glass transition, and melting temperature), and mechanical properties. Moreover, the composite structural characteristics were investigated using FTIR and SEM analysis. The alkaline treatment significantly increased the crystallinity of the composites, specifically for higher filler loadings of 30 and 40 wt.%. The crystallinity for the 40 wt.% increased from 33.2% for PLA-UTDPWF, to 41% and 51%, for PLA-NaOH and PLA-KOH, respectively. Moreover, the alkaline treatment reduced the density and produced lighter composites than the untreated specimens. For instance, the density of 40 wt.% composite was reduced from 1.43, to 1.22 and 1.30g for PLA-NaOH cm3 and PLA-KOH, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1143
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2022


  • alkaline treatment
  • crystallinity
  • date palm wood fibers
  • density
  • heat insulations
  • polylactic acid
  • thermal conductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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