Performance of rice straw‐based composites using environmentally friendly polyalcoholic polymers‐based adhesive system

Altaf H. Basta (Cellulose and Paper Department, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt)
Houssni El‐Saied (Cellulose and Paper Department, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt)
Vivian F. Lotfy (Cellulose and Paper Department, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt)

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Publication date: 4 January 2013



The purpose of this paper is to study the possibility of preparing high performance, agro‐based composites from rice straw, using eco‐polyalcohol polymers‐based adhesive system. The utilization of rice straw (undesirable biowastes) for the production of high quality biocomposite products, will add economic value, help to reduce the environmental impact of waste disposal and, most importantly, provide a potentially inexpensive alternative to the existing commercial artificial wood‐panels.


Simple synthesizing and optimizing the polyalcohol polymers‐based non‐toxic adhesive system were carried out, by blending corn starch, as natural polyalcohol polymer with polyvinyl alcohol, as synthetic polyalcohol polymers‐based adhesive (St/PV adhesive), at temperature ∼75°C. The percentages of adhesive components, type of starch, bonding temperature and time were optimized. Assessment of the synthesized adhesive was performed from its adhesion behavior (bond strength), in comparison with commercial thermosetting resin (urea‐formaldehyde), as well as the properties (mechanical and physical properties) of the composites produced. The effects of amount and type of water resistance co‐additives (paraffin wax and polyester), on mechanical properties of RS‐based composite were also optimized.


The promising adhesive system exhibits improved performance over a previously commercially HCHO‐based adhesive (UF), and results bonding strength 9.8 N/mm2, as well as MOR, IB and TS of RS‐based composites up to 31 N/mm2, 0.49 N/mm2 and 20%, respectively.

Research limitations/implications

Through the studied eco‐adhesive with relatively high natural polyalcohol polymer (starch) in presence of water‐resistance additive (PE) provided a good bonding strength and comparative RS‐based composite properties, with that produced from commercial UF. For the mechanical properties (MOR and IB) are complied the standard values; while water resistance is still higher. Further study is needed to solve this problem.

Practical implications

The approach provided a HCHO‐free adhesive with good bonding strength, comparative board strength and water resistance, reasonable working life, and without formaldehyde emission. Starch‐based adhesive with low percentages of polyvinyl alcohol is considered a promising inexpensive alternate adhesive in wood industry based on rice straw wastes, which traditionally required expensive pMDI.


The paper provides a potential way to utilise undesirable rice by‐product (RS), corn starch as industrial raw material. This will benefit farmers significantly. Meanwhile, the modified starch adhesive with low percentage of PVA is promising to partly or completely replace urea formaldehyde resin and pMDI that are mainly used in wood industry, or pMDI in RS‐based artificial wood, avoiding formaldehyde emission or toxic gases during exposed to burning, and reducing the dependence on petroleum products.



Basta, A., El‐Saied, H. and Lotfy, V. (2013), "Performance of rice straw‐based composites using environmentally friendly polyalcoholic polymers‐based adhesive system", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 42 No. 1, pp. 24-33.

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