Banana Stem Based Activated Carbon as Filler in Polymer Composites for Automobile Applications 2019-28-0093
Activated carbon was produced from a new part of banana plant namely true stem in this current research and used as fillers in polymer composites for automobile application. True stems of banana plants are the main wastes in banana or fruit markets which refer to the remains after banana fruits are removed from the supporting stems. Conversion of raw material into activated carbon particles is done by chemical and heat activation. The raw material used here were dried samples of banana plant’s true stem. This material was heated in a crucible at 400°C and then powdered. These crushed samples were activated using hydro-chloric acid at 120°C for 5 hours and finally in a furnace for thermal activation at 700°C for 1 hour. These particles were incorporated as fillers in composites at proportions of 10%, 15%, 20% and 25%. The activated carbon samples were characterized by determining its fixed carbon content and bulk density. Scanning electron microscopy was done to analyze the morphology of particles. Mechanical tests were conducted for tensile strength, modulus of rupture and impact strength. It was observed that there was a decrease in strength, toughness and impact properties as filler proportional percentage increased. The important novelty incorporated in this work is in the conversion of waste banana plant material into a valuable composite filler material for application in automobiles, which otherwise will go simply as scraps.