Biodegradable Acetylated Kenaf Fiber Composites

Jong Sun Jung, Kyung Hun Song, Seong Hun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bio-composites containing kenaf and starch as the filler and matrix, respectively, and Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and Polyethylene glycol (PEG) as plasticizers were fabricated. The acetylation of hydrophilic kenaf increased the hydrophobic matrix and surfactant bonding in the complex, and the starch matrix increased the biodegradability. The physical, thermal, and biodegradability properties of composites comprising acetylated kenaf and starch (S), acetylated kenaf, starch, and PVA (S+PVA), and acetylated kenaf, starch, and PEG (S+PEG) were evaluated. The results showed that the acetylation of kenaf caused its surface to swell, improving the interfacial adhesion between kenaf and starch in the composites, whereas PVA and PEG did not enhance the physical properties of the composites. The addition of plasticizers caused a slight improvement in the thermal fluidity and stability of the acetylated kenaf composites. In addition, the composites buried in soil showed higher biodegradability than those buried in compost. The presence of moisture in the soil also increased the biodegradability by 80 %. The results of this study demonstrate the high potential of the acetylated kenaf composites as an alternative to synthetic polymer products. Moreover, considering their biodegradable nature, these composites can be applied in treatments and techniques that are focused on the safe disposal of plastic waste for the mitigation of environmental pollution.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFibers and Polymers
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylated kenaf
  • Biodegradability
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Polyvinyl alcohol
  • Starch


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