A Thermic Effect on Degradation Kinetics of Sugar Cane Bagasse Polypropylene Composites

Tshwafo E. Motaung*, Setumo V. Motloung, Lehlohonolo F. Koao, Thembinkosi D. Malevu, Ella C. Linganiso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, thermal degradation mechanisms and the kinetics of PP (Polypropylene) composites containing alkali and saline treated SC (Sugar cane bagasse) have been evaluated using a non-isothermal thermogravimetric analysis under consistent nitrogen atmosphere. The study indicates dynamics of kinetics that need to be considered should the composites be applied in high temperature applications. NaOH treated composites revealed a reduced fiber size compared to the other composites. The presence of SC generally reduced the functional group intensities of FTIR peaks, however some peaks re-emerged after the treatments. The composites indicated higher thermal stability and char content than the pristine polymer. In fact, NaOH treated composite is more thermally stable, while the saline is the least stable of the rest. Well known reliable degradation kinetics methods were employed in order to unpack thermal degradation behavior and possible metaphors. Flynn–Wall–Ozawa (FWO) and Kissinger–Akahira–Sunose (KAS) thermal degradation kinetic models are in agreement that the presence of both SC and those in the PP matrix that have been treated lead to increased activation energy values with the competing reactions in the degradation process. Nonetheless, the linear relation is not absolutely perfect and the competing reactions seem complex at lower temperatures as there are overlying inconsistencies in activation energies. Interestingly, bagasse indicated some effect on the mechanism that included the hindering of free radicals that emanated from the first cleavage of PP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123
JournalJournal of Composites Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • polypropylene composites
  • sugar cane bagasse
  • thermal degradation kinetics


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