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10.2417/spepro.

005251
Chicken eggshell as a bioller in
polypropylene composites
Jatinder Singh Dhaliwal, Gurpreet Singh Kapur, and Shashikant
Chemically modied chicken eggshell acts as an effective bioller that
enhances the mechanical properties of polypropylene composites.
Semi-crystalline isotactic polypropylene (PP) is a versatile thermo-
plastic known for its diverse uses, which span from automotive com-
ponents to home appliances. To meet demanding engineering and
structural specications, PP is seldom used in its pristine state. Instead,
PP is often transformed into composites by incorporating llers or re-
inforcements that alter its crystalline structure and morphology. These
physical changes bring about desirable alterations in polymer proper-
ties, including improved mechanical and thermal stability, and lower
production costs. For that reason, there is considerable interest in the
research and development of PP composites.
Several recent reports describe the use of eggshell as a bioller for
different polyolensnamely PP,
1, 2
low-density polyethylene,
3
and
high-density polyethylene
4
in a range of applications.
5, 6
Eggshell
contains 95wt% of calcium carbonate (CaCO
3
) in the form of calcite,
and 5wt% of other inorganic materials. Although these studies are in-
teresting, we noticed contradictory results among them as well as some
limitations in their experimental design. For instance, the particle size
of the bioller used in most of the studies was much larger than that
of commonly used commercial llers, such as CaCO
3
. We therefore
sought to carry out our own studies into the mechanical, thermal, and
morphological properties of PP-chicken eggshell composites.
In our study,
7
we used two types of eggshell bioller: unmodi-
ed, and chemically modied with isophthalic acid. We prepared the
PP/unmodied eggshell (PP-ES) and PP/modied eggshell (PP-MES)
composites by mixing PP with 5, 10, 20, and 30wt% of eggshell or
chemically modied eggshell, respectively, in a twin-screw extruder.
We also prepared PP-CaCO
3
composites at the same ller loadings to
serve as references (see Table 1). Molding-grade PP with a melt-ow
index of 11g/10min formed the matrix. The average size of CaCO
3
and
eggshell particles in all composites was 3.0 microns.
We began by collecting transmission electron micrographs to de-
termine the agglomeration state of the particles. We found that mod-
ied eggshell particles agglomerated less than unmodied eggshell and
CaCO
3
particles (see Figure 1). Notably, we found that when eggshell
Figure 1. Transmission electron microgaphs of ller particles. (a) Cal-
cium carbonate (CaCO
3
). (b) Unmodied eggshell. (c, d) Modied
eggshell.
particles undergo treatment with isophthalic acid, they adopt an acicu-
lar (i.e., long and needle-like) morphology.
We surmised that the needle-shaped modied eggshell particles
could easily align themselves in the polymer matrix and, in doing so,
give rise to enhanced mechanical properties in PP composites. We
tested our hypothesis by measuring the tensile strength, tensile mod-
ulus, impact strength, and exural modulus of the composites. First,
we found that the PP-MES composite possessed slightly higher ten-
sile strength than the PP-ES composite. We attribute this to better
interfacial bonding between PP and modied eggshell particles. We
also found that tensile modulus increased with increasing ller load-
ing levels, with the largest increase in tensile modulus demonstrated
by the PP-MES composite. Similarly, compared to pure PP the impact
strength of PP-MES increased by 50% for a ller loading of 30% (see
Figure 2). We did not observe any change in impact strength of the PP-
ES composite. At 30% ller loading, we observed approximately 11
and 5% better exural modulus values for the PP-MES composite over
Continued on next page
10.2417/spepro.005251 Page 2/3
the PP-ES and PP-CaCO
3
composites, respectively (see Figure 3). We
propose that better bonding gives rise to a higher exural modulus, i.e.,
higher stiffness, and that this behavior allows composites to withstand
greater loads.
In summary, we found that chicken eggshell acts as an effective
bioller once it receives chemical treatment with isophthalic acid,
which enhances ller adhesion with the polymer matrix. PP compos-
ites prepared using chemically modied eggshell particles exhibit bet-
ter mechanical properties than composites with unmodied eggshell or
the more conventionally used CaCO
3
.
Figure 2. Impact strength of composites as a function of ller loading.
J/m: Joules per mol.
Figure 3. Flexural modulus of composites as a function of ller load-
ing. MPa: Megapascal.
Table 1. Description of polypropylene composites according to com-
posite name, ller type, and ller proportion. PP-CaCO
3
: Polypropy-
lene/calcium carbonate composite. PP-ES: Polypropylene/unmodied
eggshell composite. PP-MES: Polypropylene/modied eggshell com-
posite.
Composite name Filler type Filler proportion
(w/w%)
PP-CaCO
3
(95/05) Calcium carbonate 5
PP-CaCO
3
(90/10) 10
PP-CaCO
3
(80/20) 20
PP-CaCO
3
(70/30) 30
PP-ES (95/05) Unmodied eggshell 5
PP-ES (90/10) 10
PP-ES (80/20) 20
PP-ES (70/30) 30
PP-MES (95/05) Modied eggshell 5
PP-MES (90/10) 10
PP-MES (80/20) 20
PP-MES (70/30) 30
As an extension of the present work, we intend to explore alternative
methods of chemically modifying the eggshell structure. Additionally,
we plan to study the effect of varying the particle size of modied and
unmodied eggshell powders on the mechanical properties of compos-
ites with PP, as well as other polymer matrices such as high-density and
linear low-density polyethylenes.
Author Information
Jatinder Singh Dhaliwal, Gurpreet Singh Kapur, and Shashikant
Research and Development Centre of the Indian Oil Corporation
Faridabad, India
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17 October. doi:10.1002/pc.22714
c 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)