Abstract— Lignocellulosic wastes from agro-industry are usually discarded, despite their technical potential for use to reinforce composites. Because of increasing environmental concerns, scientific interest is growing to characterize fiber residues from peach palm tree trunks, papaya tree trunks and sponge gourds. The peach palm residues were obtained from the portion of the trunk not suitable for hearts of palm, while the papaya trunk residues were obtained from trees cut down after three years of fruit production and the sponge gourd waste material came from leftover gourds not suitable for making bath sponges. The materials were characterized regarding moisture content, density, ash content, lignin and holocellulose content, and soluble content, and were submitted to thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction, mechanic property and morphological analysis by scanning electron microscopy. The moisture, extractives and ash contents of the papaya pseudsterm and peach palm wastes were very near each other. The sponge gourd fibers had the highest concentrations of α-cellulose and hemicellulose and lowest levels of extractable soluble, and ash. The characterization results show that these waste materials are comparable with other agro-industrial residues described in the literature for use in making composites, so they have good potential for use as polymer reinforcement.
Keywords— lignocellulosic fibers, peach palm tree, papaya pseudstem, sponge gourd.
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